PAKISTAN: Building Bridges to Reach Muslims through Music

Source: Lausanne Global Analysis, July 2017

Because of constitutional restrictions and Islamic influence, traditional methods of mission in Pakistan have often made little impact. However, media and art are emerging as vehicles for evangelization. Given the low literacy rate in Pakistan (ranking 160 out of 198 countries), indigenous art is a powerful tool for sharing the gospel with Muslims. Pakistan has a colorful range of poetic-musical expressions with diverse musical forms. Indeed the book of Psalms (Zabor) was translated into Punjabi lyrical poetry in the late nineteenth century and a Muslim convert and a Hindu musician were hired to compose tunes.

One of the major reasons for the lack of success of Western missions in the Muslim world is the misunderstanding of Muslim music culture, as all branches of Islam have their own musical traditions. Muslim music culture also features in socio-political spheres of life:

  • Saudi women are demanding their equal rights through music video.
  • The Pakistan Army released a music video to pay tribute to the victims of Peshawar school attack by Taliban in December 2014.
  • The Taliban themselves endorse songs that legitimate their ideology and use poetry and songs to recruit new jihadis.

» Read the rest of the article.

» Learn the story of the Punjabi Psalms (International Bulletin of Missionary Research). For another story from Pakistan, see Preaching in a Mosque… from the Bible (FEBC).

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