The Pomak are a Slavic people group indigenous to Bulgaria. In the 1950s, many Pomak migrated to surrounding countries such as Greece, Romania, Turkey, Macedonia, and eventually Italy. Today, 2400 reside in Italy and remain unreached. The Pomak differ from their Bulgarian counterparts on the basis of religious identity. Unlike the majority of Bulgarians who practice Orthodox Christianity, the Pomak are Sunni Muslim. In the 1300s, the Pomak converted to Islam, and to this day are devout Muslims. Interestingly, their tradition mixes both Islam and Christianity in terms of feast observances and weddings.
Engagement // What's Happening Now
Though the Pomak are largely devoted to Islam, the influence Christianity still holds on their traditions affords Christians an opportunity for engagement. Their mixed identity isolates them from both Christians and Muslims, and therefore finding a home or being welcomed to a community is difficult. Pray that believers will transcend social and religious barriers and extend God’s love to the Pomak.
The Assemblies of God Italy has a homeland mission called Missione Interna which exists to spread the gospel to all the unreached within their country. Pray that God would lead their efforts to the Pomak communities.
Sustainability // The Bigger Story
The Pomak largely live in countries with Christian influence yet have been isolated because of their Islamic beliefs. In the past century, they have grown open to the outside world. Pray that as they encounter believers they would be drawn to the gospel.
Partnership // Move Beyond
Please spend a few minutes in prayer for the following:
- Pray for the Assemblies of God in Italy to extend the gospel to the Pomak.
- Pray that the Pomak, who have been isolated by Christians in centuries past, will now know the love of God as believers reach out to their communities.
- Pray for anointing by the Holy Spirit on the believers ministering to the Pomak.
Photo Source: Joshua Project