Urdu, Muslim in Reunion

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People Name: Urdu, Muslim
Country: Reunion
10/40 Window: No
Population: 900
World Population: 2,120,700
Primary Language: Reunion Creole French
Primary Religion: Islam
Christian Adherents: 0.50 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: Portions
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: South Asia - other
Affinity Bloc: South Asian Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

Aryan tribes entered India about 1500 BC mixing with mongoloids, Greeks and Huns. Through the generations this caused the Indian features of the people to gradually become more Caucasian and their languages to become more diverse. In later centuries Muslim influence promoted the linguistic change out of which the Urdu language eventually developed. Hindi and Urdu are similar languages, but they are divided by religious affiliation; Hindi is spoken by the Hindu peoples while Urdu is spoken by Muslims. Urdu is heavily laden with Persian and Arabic words and is written in the Persian script. Today when one thinks of South Asian Muslim languages, Urdu is the first one that comes to mind. Urdu is seldom a heart language, but it is the trade language of Pakistan.
Urdu speakers come from all walks of life, but they usually originate in either Pakistan or northern India. The Urdu possess a sense of group identity based on cultural and historical factors: the Islamic religion, a Persian cultural tradition, the Urdu language, and the tradition of Muslim supremacy in northern India.
In recent years many Urdu-speaking Muslims have emigrated to Bahrain, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, searching for economic opportunities. Skilled laborers and highly educated professionals among them have also emigrated to Western Europe, North America, and British Commonwealth countries all over the world. A small number live on the African island of Reunion.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Urdu-speaking diaspora can be found in every level of society. They are the illiterate and the educated, the poor and the money lenders, the landlords and the religious leaders. They are the descendants of immigrants who were the "cream of society" in South Asia. Presently, there is such diversity among the Urdu speaking diaspora that it is difficult to generalize their lifestyles. Unless they live in neighborhoods containing numbers of other Urdu speakers, the second generation often begins to lose contact with their native language and culture. Urdu women are responsible for all of the household duties as well as caring for the children. They also enjoy embroidering, sewing, and visiting with other neighborhood women.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Although the Urdu are all Muslims, this is no longer a unifying factor. There are intense differences among the various Sunni Muslim sects. Since entire communities tended to migrate together, different Islamic sects are found in different countries. For example, in Turkey and South Africa, the Urdu speakers are almost completely from one sect whereas in Canada, they are almost always from a different one.

What Are Their Needs?

These are Sunni Muslims need to hear about the living Savior. They need the JESUS Film and Urdu language broadcasts to steer them to him.

Prayer Points

Pray for the Lord to thrust out workers to the Urdu community in Reunion.
Pray for persons of peace among the Urdu people who will accept Christ's ambassadors.
Pray for resources like the JESUS Film and Urdu language Christian broadcasts to become widely available.
Pray for a massive movement to Christ among Urdu speakers this decade leading to spiritual and physical blessings in Christ.

Text Source:   Joshua Project