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Learning About Islam

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What do Muslims believe?
Are the God of the Bible and Allah of the Quran the same?
What is Shariah law?
How should we react to terrorism?
How can we witness to Muslims?
How do Christian beliefs about women differ from Muslim beliefs?
How are Christians treated in Muslim countries?

VOM offers Learning About Islam to help parents and teachers share the truth about Islam with students. The 60-page book is available free from the Downloads section of this site.

Readers Talk to Us Story

How do North Korean Christians Pray?

North Korea
A secret meeting in North Korea

In North Korea, it is against the law to choose to follow Jesus or to own a Bible. A listener on VOMRadio.net asked the following questions.

  • In a country like North Korea, how do Christians pray?
  • How do they gather together?
  • What is a worship service like in North Korea?

Todd Nettleton, host of VOM Radio, asked Rev. Eric Foley the listener’s questions. Rev. Foley is the leader of VOM Korea.

Rev. Foley: A lot of ideas we have about North Koreans hiding under a blanket to read the Bible or sneaking out of their homes at night aren’t exactly accurate. And the reason why is that everyone in North Korea is required to spy on homes that are near their own.

Things like hiding under a blanket or sneaking out of your home would make the neighbors suspicious. So when things like that happen it is usually on the border of North Korea.

North Koreans who are in the interior of North Korea who have been Christians for generations actually worship very differently. They have developed ways of worship that they can do even when people who are not Christians are watching.

One of the ways is that underground [secret] believers pray with their eyes open. They look at the person they are with as if they are having a conversation with that person. And instead of referencing God, for example, they use a phrase like “Dear Leader.” [“Dear Leader” is a title used for the former leader of their country, who is now dead. In this case, Christians are using the title to talk secretly about God.]

So instead of bowing their heads and closing their eyes, they might look at the person sitting next to them and say, “I am so concerned about Sister Kim, who is sick. But I am thankful that our Dear Leader will show special care for her as she needs love and attention.” That would be how underground Christians pray.

The way that they have worship services is on a family level. People in the same family worship together. But people from different families typically do not gather together for worship in North Korea.

(Source: VOMRadio.net. Edited and paraphrased for length and clarity.)

Rev. Foley’s book about Christians in North Korea, These Are the Generations, is available at VOM Books.

Enter “North Korea” in the Search box on this site to find more stories about North Korean Christians.


Spotlight Story

Feed Your Enemy

Boy
Boy in Pakistan

“Therefore, ‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink…’” (Romans 12:20).

The Voice of the Martyrs has partners in other countries who help VOM carry out projects in those countries. Earlier this year, armed men attacked and robbed a VOM partner in his home in Pakistan. They beat one of the partner’s brothers and stole the family’s belongings.

Later the police arrested seven men for the attack and put them in jail. The attackers were hungry in jail. In Pakistan, inmates’ families are expected to bring food to their relatives in jail. Some of the attackers had no one to bring them food.

Two brothers of VOM’s partner brought food to the hungry criminals and shared the gospel with them.

Pray that the attackers will come to know Christ and give up their violent ways.


Spotlight Story

Islam in the News: Muslims Coming to Christ

Man in Syria
Muslim man in Syria

News reports tell about attacks by radical Muslims around the world. What should Christians do? Should we pretend there is not a problem? Should we be afraid?

Cole Richards, the leader of The Voice of the Martyrs International Ministries department talked about these issues recently on an interview at VOMRadio.net. Read below the third of three posts from the interview.

Most Muslims aren’t acting out violently. But the actions of radical Muslims lead all Muslims to examine their beliefs. That’s always a good process.

Muslims would be offended by this, but as Christians we hold that it is absolutely true that the more you dig into Islam, the more disappointed you are, because you will not find the truth. The truth is in Jesus Christ our Lord.

So this soul searching of the entire Muslim community globally is being used by God in a very healthy way. It gets people talking; it gets them asking questions.

We hear testimony after testimony of Muslims going to their leaders and asking them all these good questions. It leads them to the truth in many cases. And it’s not only moderate Muslims who are coming to faith.

Sometimes the most radical Muslims come to faith in Christ because they’ve pursued the path of Islam as far as it can go. They said, “I’m really going to do this thing. I’m going to do everything the religious leaders are asking of me. I’m going to do it more than anybody.” And at the end of that path, they find that it’s false. Then they find the truth in Christ.

Some of that is happening in the midst of, or you could even say because of, the bad actors among radical Islam. It’s not what you expect to find. But it’s absolutely true that more Muslims are coming to Christ now when Islam is acting out so violently than at any time in the history of missions since the advent of Islam 1400 years ago.

(Source: VOMRadio.net. Edited for length, clarity, and reading level.)

Learn more about Islam from Learning About Islam, available in the Downloads section of this site.


Spotlight Story

Islam in the News: Hating and Fearing No One

Iraq

News reports tell about attacks by radical Muslims around the world. What should Christians do? Should we pretend there is not a problem? Should we be afraid?

Cole Richards, the leader of The Voice of the Martyrs International Ministries department talked about these issues recently on an interview at VOMRadio.net. Read below the second of three posts from the interview. Mr. Richards refers to Richard Wurmbrand, the man who started The Voice of the Martyrs in 1967.

My favorite Richard Wurmbrand quote is “Jesus never hated or feared anyone.” It’s very easy, in our human nature, to hate and fear those who are our enemies. And we have a real enemy with radical Islam. That’s absolutely correct.

Yet we read in Scripture about forgiving our enemies. Christ instructs us to pray for those who persecute us, to bless and not curse them.

I think in the U.S. we have read these passages and applied them in less compelling ways in our lives or wondered what they mean at all. What we find when we go to places where our brothers and sisters are going through the ultimate suffering, we see them applying the Scriptures in new and very powerful ways. They are triumphing over their suffering through the power of Christ in commitment to Him.

We want to capture that. At The Voice of the Martyrs , we want to be their voice. We want to bring the faith and witness of our brothers and sisters back to the U.S. so Christians here can be part of that and learn from it. We want them to be touched by being part of this great family that is the body of Christ.

So our media is aimed at that. It’s not our opinion as American missions leaders; it’s really us capturing their thoughts, the faith, and the voice of our brothers and sisters in these areas.

(Source: VOMRadio.net. Edited for length, clarity, and reading level.)


Spotlight Story

Islam in the News: Not Discouraged

Iraq
A girl in Iraq reading a children’s Bible

News reports tell about attacks by radical Muslims around the world. What should Christians do? Should we pretend there is not a problem? Should we be afraid?

Cole Richards, the leader of The Voice of the Martyrs International Ministries department talked about these issues recently on an interview at VOMRadio.net. Read what he said below and in the next two upcoming posts.

Eternal Perspective
People watch the nightly news, and they see all the terrible things that are happening. And that’s true. But it’s only part of the truth. The other part of the truth is what God is doing in the midst of this — things that have eternal value and lasting value compared to the nightly news situations which are really about this temporal world. [“Temporal” means worldly, earthly, and not spiritual.]

What’s exciting is that when we go to these most difficult places where our brothers and sisters are truly suffering, we see what God’s doing through them and in their hearts. When we see this, it keeps us from being discouraged. Our brothers and sisters are not — even in the midst of their deepest suffering — they are not overly discouraged because they have the eternal perspective.

[“Perspective” is a way of thinking about something. Someone who has an eternal perspective thinks of their future in heaven with God forever, not just their earthly life. See 2 Corinthians 4:17–18.]

Northern Iraq
I just got back from northern Iraq. I spent my whole time there working together with believers who have literally lost everything. I’ve been in several situations like that in which people have been driven out of their homes, their homes have been stolen or burned, their church lost, all their possessions lost.

So the big question is: What next? The strong believers in these settings pray. They get with the Lord, and the Lord shows them what really counts. They are automatically focused on what counts for eternity because they have already lost everything that has tied them to this world… This has led them to be more focused in the work of the ministry… And they are joyfully serving Him even though they just lost everything.

(Source: VOMRadio.net. Edited for length, clarity, and reading level.)

To Think About

  • Why are some of the believers in difficult situations not discouraged?
  • What is an eternal perspective?
  • Why is it easier for some people who have no earthly possessions to have an eternal perspective?

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