Text source: Joshua Project
Introduction / History
Every people group has a story. When we are gathered around God's throne in heaven, we'll get to hear each and every one of those stories. But for now, the Muslim Behara living in Bangladesh have an unknown story. There is almost no information about this mysterious people group. Most live in Bangladesh, though some are in India.
What are their lives like?
We do know that the Behara live in rural areas.
What are their beliefs?
The Behara people are Sunni Muslims who believe that the supreme God, Allah, spoke through his prophet, Mohammed, and taught mankind how to live a righteous life through the Koran and the Hadith. To live a righteous life, you must utter the Shahada (a statement of faith), pray five times a day facing Mecca, fast from sunup to sundown during the month of Ramadan, give alms to the poor, and make a pilgrimage to Mecca if you have the means. Muslims are prohibited from drinking alcohol, eating pork, gambling, stealing, slandering, and making idols. They gather for corporate prayer on Friday afternoons at a mosque, their place of worship. The two main holidays for Sunni Muslims are Eid al Fitr, the breaking of the monthly fast and Eid al Adha, the celebration of Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son to Allah. Sunni religious practices are staid and simple. They believe that Allah has pre-determined our fates; they minimize free will. In most of the Muslim world, people depend on the spirit world for their daily needs since they regard Allah as too distant. Allah may determine their eternal salvation, but the spirits determine how well we live in our daily lives. For that reason, they must appease the spirits. They often use charms and amulets to help them with spiritual forces.
What are their needs?
Though they are not part of the Hindu caste system, they have low status. Thus they are under bondage to the false belief that they have little worth in the eyes of God or man. The Bible is available in their language in audio and online formats, so they can encounter and respond to God's Word. There is always a need for those who will use the local culture's music and drama forms to present the life of Christ.
Prayer PointsView Behara in all countries.
Ask the Lord to write his story of the Behara people and that they would embrace it and make it their story as well. Pray for them to realize that they were created to worship him, and for them to joyfully do so. Pray for the Holy Spirit to sweep through this people group, drawing them into his Kingdom, family by family.