The Shaikh are dispersed throughout Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan. A majority of the Shaikh live in Bangladesh, numbering about 137 million. The word Shaikh means “elder” or “venerable old man” this term used to identify with those of pure Arab descent but is now identified with those who have converted from Hinduism to Islam. In Bangladesh, 100% of the Shaikh are Muslim and belong to the Sunni sect of Islam.
Engagement // What’s Happening Now
A few years ago, a Shaikh believer was imprisoned for sharing scripture. While in prison he was harassed for being a believer and for praying to Jesus. As time passed the believer noticed strange sounds from a speaker followed by Quranic passages. He soon asked where these strange noises were coming from. He was notified that they were demons which were tormenting the prison; Quranic passages were being used to drown out the sounds of the demons. The believer then told them that he would pray and show them that Jesus was real by praying for the strange noises to go away. The strange noises left and he was able to lead Shaikh prisoners to faith in Jesus Christ.
Pray for boldness, wisdom, and protection among Shaikh believers as they share the gospel and bring the light of Christ to areas that seem full of darkness.
Sustainability // The Bigger Story
“The problem in the nation is not the lack of harvest but of harvesters,” says a Christian worker among the Shaikh. There is great spiritual darkness and a need for workers and prayer partners to help reach the Shaikh of Bangladesh. The Assemblies of God fellowship in Bangladesh is reaching out to the Shaikh living there. With such a great multitude to reach, the national church and its leaders need prayer for wisdom and guidance as they seek to extend the message of Jesus to this unreached people group.
Partnership // Move Beyond
Entrepreneurs: Consider using your bi-vocational skills to partner with AGWM to reach the unreached Shaikh.
Readers, Writers, Speakers: Basic religious education is given to Shaikh children, but only wealthy families are able to provide for more extensive religious education. How might education provide an entry point to reach Shaikh youth?
Problem Solvers: The Shaikh are the largest unreached people group in the world, and a clear strategy is needed to reach them. Consider the far-reaching effects that a widespread proclamation of the gospel spread would have among the Shaikh.
Interested in more opportunities? Visit the Wide Open website.