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Paris has one of the largest Muslim populations in Europe. It has a diverse and growing community, largely consisting of immigrants and refugees from former French colonies in North and West Africa. In total, France has about 1.7 million Muslim residents.
Mahamadu collapses onto his bed, exhausted. He’s finished his cleaning job and has a few hours before his night shift as a security guard starts. But he cannot relax, because it is a Sunday, the day the members of his extended family visit the hostel where he lives with a hundred other Soninke immigrant workers. It is a day for discussing family problems in France and deciding how much money they need to send back to their home village in Mali. Mahamandu’s daughter in Mali is ill, so he is worried that he will not have enough money for her as well as giving his contribution towards the food for the upcoming Eid festival.
Mahamadu’s life is typical for the more than 100,000 Soninke immigrants in the greater Paris region, working in multiple low-paid jobs to earn enough to support their families back in West Africa. Most of them have never met a true follower of Jesus or heard the Gospel. Nevertheless, there are a few believers who live in isolation and experience persecution from their community.
Soninke Communities are found all over the world, particularly in France. They come from West Africa, where they have been traders for generations. The Soninke converted to Islam in the 11th century and nearly all of them are devout Muslims – proud of their 900 years of Islamic heritage.
How to Pray
- Pray that Soninke immigrants in Paris will find the work they need to do well in France and also support their families in West Africa.
- Pray for all Muslims in Paris to encounter followers of Christ in this city and for more Christian workers to come here with the goal of sharing Jesus. (Matthew 9:38)
- Pray for protection for the few believers from a Muslim background, and that many other Soninke in Paris would come to know Christ. (John 14:6)
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Top image courtesy of IMB.org