Urdu in Bahrain

Photo Source:  Muzaffar Somro - Pixabay 
Map Source:  Joshua Project / Global Mapping International
People Name: Urdu
Country: Bahrain
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 66,000
World Population: 2,122,900
Primary Language: Urdu
Primary Religion: Islam
Christian Adherents: 0.01 %
Evangelicals: 0.01 %
Scripture: Complete Bible
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.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Urdu speaking Indians and Pakistanis migrated to Bahrain, a place where the majority share their identity in the Islamic religious system. They mingle with the Bahraini majority in Sunni mosques. In Bahrain they enjoy a stronger education system and better living conditions. Most of the Urdu in Bahrain are either low paid day laborers or they are in the police and military forces. They have to work in Bahrain for many years to obtain citizenship in this wealthy country.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Almost all Urdu speakers are Sunni Muslims. They believe the teachings of the Koran and the Hadith, but they also often lean on pre-Islamic spiritual forces for their daily needs. A faithful Muslim will pray five times a day, fast during the month of Ramadan, give alms to the poor, go on the pilgrimage to Mecca, and obey what their imams teach them.

What Are Their Needs?

Urdu speakers in Bahrain need safety and acceptance from the Bahraini majority. They also need the chance to earn a good, honest living for the benefit of their families and for Bahrain in general.
Many of the Urdu, such as those living in Bahrain, consider the moral values of Western Christians to be pagan. For this reason, they are very suspicious of opening up to anything they perceive as "Christian." They need to see living Christianity lived out.

Prayer Points

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

Text Source:   Joshua Project