Introduction / History
There are many differing stories of the origins of the Mahtam people. No one seems to be certain about their history or origin.
Where Are they Located?
The Mahtam community is mainly in the region stretching from Dera Ghazi Khan in the west, and Lahore in the northeast. Lahore is Pakistan's most culturally influential city.
What Are Their Lives Like?
Mahtam women have almost no freedoms or educational opportunities, and suffer from domestic abuse. Most Mahtam people tend to work in the service sector, agriculture, and light industry. High inflation and widespread corruption are crippling factors in Pakistan's economic development, and that affects the Mahtam people. Severe shortages of electricity and gas disrupt normal life and reduce the effectiveness of industry. Poverty affects much of the Mahtam population. Their spiritual poverty is even more desperate.
What Are Their Beliefs?
The Mahtam people in Pakistan are 100 percent Sunni Muslim; they are unreached and unengaged. Portions of the New Testament, and Bible portions have been translated into Western Punjabi, a language the Mahtam people can understand. Audio resources and the JESUS Film are also available. Technology opens spiritual doors for those who dare to seek truth.
What Are Their Needs?
There is a degree of religious freedom promised ethnic minorities by Pakistani law, but in practice, non-Sunnis must practice their faith cautiously and under varying degrees of threat from Islamists. According to Open Doors, Pakistan is the fourth worst nation in regards to persecution of Christians.
Basics of quality life are not easily attainable for the Mahtam people.
Most schools in Pakistan are Islamic (est. 20,000) or expensive private schools. They offer little education beyond memorizing the Koran, and push the brand of Islam preferred by militants. Financial and social inducements to convert to Islam also present a problem to non-Muslims, who are generally poorer and have fewer career and education opportunities.
Operation World reports that Pakistan's government alternates between civilian parties and autocratic military dictatorships. Despite its constitution, shari'a law is increasingly applied in Pakistan.
* Pray that media tools such as radio, TV, literature, and dreams and visions will break through the spiritual barriers holding the Mahtam people back.
* Pray that God will send his workers to this field.
* Pray that the Holy Spirit will draw them out, disciple them, and make them fishers of the men.
* Pray that they will be willing to take the message of salvation through Jesus Christ alone to their communities.
(Profiles written by Karen Hightower of Global Prayer Digest.)