We have previously targeted – fully evangelized – and planted churches for the Yine Tribe in Peru’s Amazonian basin and the Tolupan Tribe in Honduras. We also provided a copy of God’s Word in their language (and a Jesus film) to every family in each tribe. Now, we are setting our sites on another target. This people group is not primitive or tucked away in some remote jungle. On the contrary, they are a religious group scattered in several locations throughout the Middle East. And of the one billion+ Muslims around the world, they comprise a mere 0.04%, having fewer than 400,000 members. For the most part, they look like their neighbors, they speak Arabic, and they live among the other denominations of Muslims, but it is their peculiar religious beliefs that set them apart and have caused them to be used, abused, and targeted by national armies, militias, at the command of their leader. Let me introduce you to the unreached people and religion of the Murshid.
You may be familiar with the Suffi branch of Islam. It is characterized by men dressed in white skirts that spin as a part of their worship. They spin to enter a trance and then begin speaking in tongues. Murshid is a sect of Sufism. The leader is called the Murshad, meaning the guide or teacher of the right path. They claim they are an extension of the Spirit of God, which filled Solomon with his renowned wisdom. They believe that the Spirit of Allah was given to Mohammad’s relative and successor, Ali, who was, according to them, the founder of their sect, whom they call Solomon the Guide. This title has supposedly been passed down from generation to generation as each Murshad becomes the physical, human embodiment of Allah.
Their faith teaches that its founder, Ali, and all his successive descendants are more than mere channels of deity; they are themselves deities. Their position as the Murshad passes from father to son to grandson, ad infinitim. They conclude that the need for leadership will end when Mohammad and Jesus return to the earth via the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus. They have their own holy books comprised primarily of quotes from the Old Testament, specifically the Psalms, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes. Like the Jewish faith, they do not believe that Christ (the Messiah) has come yet. But strangely, they also do not believe that women have souls. Instead, they believe them to be objects made only to provide for men’s sensual pleasures, to care for the household, and to produce children. Technically, the Murshid are primarily aligned with the Alawite and Shiite denominations.
Their current situation:
Since we now have churches spreading from Morocco to Pakistan, our preachers and members often stumble upon the other sects of Islam as they witness. In one such area, we happened to rent a facility near the home of the current Murshad. In this particular land, there has been a civil war ongoing for over fifteen years between the Sunni and Shiites and their allies, the Alawites. The Murshid militia has long since defended themselves as a small minority and learned to assimilate the political wishes of their hosts while retaining their religious beliefs. As a result, they have lost a significant number of the men in their sect. Typically, the members live in communities or outlying villages where they can offer protection for their families and foster their doctrines. Many of these villages have been surrounded by opposing militias who, after killing the men, take the girls and women as slaves and servants to produce children for the fighters who killed their fathers, husbands, brothers, and sons. The boys are taken and trained to fight and then used as cannon fodder. These actions have devasted the Murshid, making them almost extinct as a separate people. Then, in February 2023, after the earthquake occurred, the remaining Murshid abandoned the rubble of their villages and took the young and teenage boys with them to be trained as soldiers to protect their people and gain income from fighting for their enemies. This left the women and girls in a position of extreme poverty and without protection. It is difficult to describe the poverty in which they live, but their condition caused some of our members to notice them and render aid, which is now beginning to bear fruit.
While the above information paraphrases the situation, the following paragraphs are written word for word by our regional director. I hope you can sense his urgency and vision.
“We consider this a great opportunity to reach these villages with the Gospel and share our love and hope in Jesus. Around 400,000 people live forty to sixty minutes away from some of our house churches, and the Lord has already opened the door for us to reach some of them and see them accept the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior. These new believers are calling for us to help them with food and present the Good News of Jesus Christ to the rest of their people. For several years, we have made efforts to do so with substantial results, but now, our resources are depleted. This sectarian war, along with the earthquake, has left us without anything, and now we barely have one meal a day to stay alive. Despite our poverty, we intend to move ahead and fully evangelize this unreached people group at our doorsteps. We plan to visit every Murshid village and home, giving each family a bag of food, a New Testament, and a Gospel witness. To begin with, we need 500 food bags costing $49.00 each, and we intend to give one to each family every month until they can get back on their feet”.
“As stated above, some of these folks have already accepted Christ, so they accompany our teams as we go out so that we will be accepted by their friends, neighbors, and family. Additionally, we will send pastors to each village to preach and teach them the Word of God”.
Many people have told me how happy they were to help us find and fully evangelize the Yeni and Tolupan and plant churches among them. Doing so undoubtedly laid up a treasure awaiting them in Heaven. Others have told me they were not involved with us at that time and wondered if we would be targeting another “unreached people group.” It is one thing for a missionary to win one soul to Christ from an unreached people group, gaining the hope that in decades to come, he might meet and win a dozen or more and someday have a church among them. But because of how we proceed, we do not win one; we attempt to win them all, overcoming whatever hindrances block our path. So far, our methods are working, so here we go again. We are happy to partner with you if you would like to help us evangelize the Murshid – 100% of them. This is a marvelous opportunity to fulfill scripture and lay up more treasures in Heaven. I don’t know about you, but the older I get, the more motivated I am to invest in the Bank of Heaven.