There are about 12 – 15 million Uighurs living in Xinjiang in northwest China. Most of them live in the rural areas of the province, but significant numbers can also be found in some urban centers. They are very hospitable and warm-hearted Muslim people and are usually eager to share their language and culture with anyone interested in them. At the same time they have big problems in their own interpersonal relationships; lack of trust towards one another, very high divorce rates (as high as 10-80%), and hatred and suspicion within the extended families. the tensions between Uihgurs and other ethnic groups in the province are also very obvious.
More and more Uighur young people are being given the opportunity to attend schools and colleges. Instructions mainly take place in Mandarin, the national language. Some Uighur parents are deciding to educate their children entirely in Mandarin, which means that fewer and fewer Uighur young people are now able to read and write in their own language.
Less than 2% of the Uighurs in China have become followers of Jesus. Many Uighur believers experience cultural, social and religious opposition when they profess faith in Christ, and fear is a reality for them. the Bible is currently being translated into Uighur, and Christian radio programming can be heard on the airwaves.
Pray for God to reveal himself among this people, stirring a desire in their heart to search for truth. Pray for workers, for effective student outreach and for the building of his church.