Dear prayer partners,

It is a very different Ramadan this year for the 1.8 billion Muslims around the world with the coronavirus pandemic keeping many countries in ‘lockdown’. From dusk on Thursday 23 April till Saturday 23 May, the world’s Muslims will fast from sunrise to sunset daily. This is a time of self-denial, spiritual reflection, and community. However, this year, many Muslims will be observing their ‘holy month’ under ‘lockdown’  where tight restrictions mean that there will be a lack of food distribution among Internally displaced people (IDPs) and the poor, and no large gatherings, due to the coronavirus outbreak that has affected the world.

For example, internally displaced people (IDPs) in Burkina Faso, struggle with a lack of food during Ramadan. Many of the IDPs in Barsalogho (a town in Burkina Faso’s strife-ridden north) live in tents or houses belonging to local people, some with just one or two rooms housing up to 20 people. The town has not confirmed a case of COVID-19, though many IDPs say they live in fear that the coronavirus will arrive soon. Health experts say the disease could spread out of control in cramped, unsanitary conditions.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) advised using virtual alternatives, where possible, for social and religious gatherings during the month of Ramadan. In many countries where mosques have closed their doors in the hope of cubing the spread of COVID 19, online alternatives have been set up, such as live-streaming prayers and sermons. Some countries have reduced restrictions to allow for communal prayers during Ramadan, though there remains a concern that this could lead to an increase in COVID-19 cases.

This Ramadan will be a difficult, sad, and frustrating time for many Muslim friends and neighbours. They may be desperately looking for hope and a word from Allah, especially at this time. What they need is the hope and encouragement of Jesus Christ.

Please join with us as we intercede for Muslims around the world during this time of heightened spiritual awareness and vulnerability – for protection against attacks of the evil one, for increased opportunities of exposure to the Gospel of Christ through online platforms and for provision for those in desperate need.

But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light [of God’s precepts], for it is light that makes everything visible. For this reason, He says, “Awake, sleeper, and arise from the dead, And Christ will shine [as dawn] upon you and give you light.” (Ephesians 5:13-14)