Ramadan 2007 / 1428 : Day 27 for October 9 (We are posting these one day early to include all time zones.)
Firozabad is a significant city of approximately a half million people located 45 minutes east of Agra by car (the city where the Taj Mahal is located). Firozabad is still being researched for ministry purposes. No local congregation of Christians exists there at the present time. It appears that about half the population is Muslim. The remaining population is comprised of Hindus and Jains (believers in Jainism). A very large Jain temple is located on the outskirts of the city.
Breathing Glass in Firozabad
The glass industry is very well established at Firozabad. It has been called the glass capital of India. Local artisans and factories produce glass bangles (bracelets), drinking glasses and a wide variety of other glassware. Some people have observed that the people of Firozabad do not breath air but glass. Dozens of shops in the markets sell nothing but glass bangles. Thousands of children work in the glass industry around the 300 glass factories polishing and painting the glass bangles in very poor conditions. The city also suffers low literacy and there is significant pollution linked to the glass industry.
The tallest building in the city is the main mosque in the heart of downtown. During Friday prayers this mosque is full with several hundred Muslims present. Large numbers of young boys are attending the Qur’anic school linked to the mosque. It is still not certain if most of the Muslims in this city are truly religiously Muslim or simply culturally Muslim. The women wear traditional Muslim dress.
No Known Churches… Yet
There is no known believer in this city. Some Christians who recently visited Firozabad saw God open doors for the Gospel with four young Muslim men. They gave a copy of the Bible to one of the young Muslims who is also sharing it with the others. Through phone calls and e-mails it seems that they continue to read the Bible. Some of the visiting Christians were even invited to a wedding in the same family as the young man who has a copy of the Bible. The young Muslim men know that the Christians are followers of Jesus and that we pray for them daily. Hopefully Christians visiting the city will continue to find men and women of peace and good will.
Firozabad in some ways is what you would call a forgotten city. It is the closest large city to Agra, the tourist capital of India, and yet there are no tourists who visit this city. When a tourist does come to Firozabad, traffic literally stops on the streets.
Prayer Points for Firozabad:
* Pray for God to raise up workers to go to this city and share the Gospel message (both short term and long term workers are needed).
* Pray for discernment of those who go to work in this city as they do research and minister.
* Pray for God to speak to the city’s youth through His Word (including those mentioned above).
* May people become dissatisfied with Hinduism and Islam and long for more than they presently have.
* Pray for the many children used as cheap labour in the glass factories and for real solutions to the pollution problems.