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Spotlight Story

Risky Witnessing in Pakistan

Pakistan

In Pakistan, Muslims hold festivals to celebrate Muslim culture and traditions. Sometimes radical Muslims leaders preach at the festivals.

Many Muslims in Pakistan get along with Christians. But Christians are harshly persecuted by other Muslims who are radical about their faith. The radicals who speak at the festivals convince some youth to join their group.

Attacked
Bold Christians enter the festivals quietly. They pass out Christian books, and they talk with anyone who seems interested. But not everyone is interested in what they have to say. Often Muslims threaten to beat them up.

During one festival, a mob of angry Muslim attacked a Christian group. They beat up the Christians and injured one Christian’s jaw. When the police got there, they arrested the Christians for starting a public disturbance!

The Truth in Jail
The Christians were still bleeding from the attack when they were put in jail. But they began singing praises to God, just like the Apostle Paul and his friend Silas (Acts 16:25).

One inmate told them, “If the Jesus you follow is really so great, He should be strong enough to have me released this very day.” A few hours later, the prisoner was released! Before he left, he told everyone in jail, “Listen to these men! What they are sharing is the truth!”

To Discuss

  • Why do you think radical Muslims wanted to beat up the Christians? (Read John 15:20–21.)
  • If you were at a Christian festival and a Muslim came to the festival, what would you do? (Read 1 Peter 3:15.)
  • For what reasons might the Christians not feel like singing in the jail in Pakistan? Why do you think they were praising God?

Source: July 2014 The Voice of the Martyrs newsletter


Spotlight Story

Tien

Laos
A Christian teenager from Laos studies her Bible

Tien, a teenager in Asia, loves God, and she loves to attend church. But her family is Buddhist.

Family members told Tien she could no longer go to church because she refused to attend the Buddhist temple with them. But Tien continued to go to church. Then her grandmother followed her to church and began yelling at the church leaders. Tien stopped attending because she did not want to bring trouble to the church.

“I really love God, and I want to go to church,” Tien said. “Please pray for me, that one day my grandmother or my family will understand me.”

Source: www.icommittopray.com

To protect their identities, the names of some of the people on this website and some identifying details have been changed.


Activities Story

Ice Cream Facts and Ramadan

Ramadan
Iraqi child at a Ramadan feast

In 1984, President Ronald Reagan named July as National Ice Cream Month and July 15 as National Ice Cream Day. National Ice Cream Day is now celebrated on the third Sunday in July.

Arabian Treat
Some historians say that Arab traders first introduced the idea of frozen desserts to Europeans. They say that ice cream was invented when additional ingredients were added. The English word “sherbet” comes from an Arabic word that means “syrup” or “beverage.”

To make an “Arabian ice” frozen dessert, mix 1 cup of sugar with 2½ cups of water, and boil the mixture for 3 to 5 minutes. Cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Add 1½ cups of orange juice and ½ cup of lemon juice. Pour the mixture into a bowl and freeze. Remove from the freezer before it becomes solid, then beat until smooth. Return to the freezer until it’s firm. Scoop into a bowl, and serve like ice cream.

Hospitality
People in Arab lands are noted for showing hospitality to visitors. (Hospitality is showing kindness and generosity to guests.) They try to make sure that their visitors are comfortable and have plenty of good things to eat.

Read what the Bible says about hospitality in Romans 12:13 and Hebrews 13:2.

Ramadan
Hospitality becomes especially important during Ramadan, the ninth month on the Muslim calendar. This year, Ramadan occurs from late June until late July.

During Ramadan, Muslim adults and older children fast from sunrise to sunset. After sunset, they join friends and relatives for a meal and special treats.

Watch this video clip that explains how to pray for Muslims during Ramadan.


Activities Story

Bold Believers in Bangladesh

Bangladesh
Children from Christian families drink at a well

Bangladesh is one of the wettest countries in the world. The average rainfall is high, and floods occur every year.

But not everyone has clean water to drink. Some Muslims will not let Christians drink from wells in their village. They believe that if Christians drink from the well, it makes the water unclean.

Some Christians who are not able to use a well have to get water from dirty ponds or streams.

To Try: For three days, keep track of each time someone in your family gets a drink of water, takes a shower, or uses water in some other way. Remember Christians in Bangladesh who have to walk miles to a muddy pond or stream every time they need water.

Read more about bold believers in Bangladesh from the recently revised and updated Bold Believers in Bangladesh activity book in the Downloads section. Each Bold Believers activity book comes with a variety of activities, including coloring pages. Download the Bangladesh activity book coloring page here.


Spotlight Story

News from Brunei

Brunei

The Sultan of Brunei has announced new Muslim (Sharia) laws for his country. Learn more about Sharia law here.

Some of the laws apply only to Muslims. For example, Muslims may be punished if they don’t pray memorized Muslim prayers on Fridays, the Muslim holy day. And Muslim girls cannot leave their parents’ custody until they are married.

But Christians are also concerned about parts of the law that may apply to Christians. Some of those rules are the following.

  • Non-Muslims can’t take care of Muslim children.
  • Muslims who become Christians may lose custody of their children.
  • Christians may not teach Muslim children about Christianity, even in Christian schools.
  • Non-Muslims cannot share their faith with Muslims.
  • Muslims cannot declare themselves to be non-Muslims.

July 15th is the 68th birthday of the Sultan of Brunei. Pray he will be a wise leader. Pray for the Christians in his country.


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