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Ten Things Persecuted Christians Are Thankful For

Give Thanks

Thanksgiving will be celebrated this week in the United States.

To Do and To Discuss

  • List 10 things for which you are thankful.
  • Read below the list of things persecuted Christians have said they are thankful for.
  • How many of the things on their list are available to you?
  • Are there any things on your list and the persecuted Christians’ list that are the same?
  • Can you provide persecuted Christians with anything on their list?

Persecuted Christians Are Thankful For:

The prayers of other Christians
“I knew there were people praying for me. It gave me the spiritual strength I needed to live as a Christian and to trust God.” — A pastor in prison in Asia
Friends who encourage them
“I am thankful that I have many friends here who help me when I’m discouraged.” — A boy who lost his parents in an attack by radical Muslims
Hope in Jesus
“I see people dying, crying, how Jesus gives them hope. This gives me courage. I am convinced there is no better job in the world than to serve God this way.” — Persecuted pastor in Nepal
Encouraging letters
“We have a family of faith that loves us and cares for us. We are not alone! — Maryam Rostampour talking about her feelings when she received letters while in prison in Iran. (Visit Prisoner Alert to learn how to write letters to persecuted Christians in prison.)
God’s Peace
“I started to pray, and I got the peace that is beyond understanding. I felt so close to God at that moment.” — Christian who was arrested in the Middle East
Bibles
“I have longed for this Bible, and now I am thankful.” — Christian in Uganda who received a Bible from The Voice of the Martyrs. VOM provides Bibles through the Bibles to Captive Nations and Bibles Unbound projects.
The conversion of persecutors
“Muslims want to hear the truth. They are just waiting on you and me to share the gospel with them.” — A Christian in Syria
God’s Power
“God is in control, not [the persecutors].” — A Christian in India
Joy in Christ
“I have Christ’s joy in my heart.” — A Chinese Christian prisoner answering another prisoner who said, “I have been watching you; your face is never sad.”
God’s gift of salvation through His Son Jesus
“They can burn down my house, but they can’t burn Jesus from my heart.” — A Christian in Pakistan

International Day of the Bible

The Bible tells about King Josiah, who re-discovered the words of God. He read the words to all the people of the land to turn their hearts back to God. (See 2 Kings 22-23.)

International Bible Week is celebrated during the week of Thanksgiving in the United States. This year, the International Day of the Bible will be observed on November 24. People will read passages of the Bible aloud in public.

Ask a mature Christian to help you discover a story or passage in the Bible that is new to you. Read the passage aloud.

As you learn more about the Bible, remember Christians in the following countries who could be persecuted if they read the Bible aloud in public. (The list is not a complete list.)

  • North Korea
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Turkmenistan
  • Somalia
  • Eritrea
  • Afghanistan
  • Iran
  • Syria
  • Uzbekistan
  • Qatar

Time to Pray: Five Suggestions

DST Ends

November 2 is The International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP). It is also the day when people set their clocks back an hour as Daylight Saving Time ends. Can you get up an hour “early” and donate your hour to persecuted Christians? Below are five suggestions about how you might use the hour.

  1. Five common needs of persecuted Christians are: Bibles and Christian materials, school for their children, a way to worship, transportation to places to share Jesus, and physical healing. Pray for their needs. Learn more about the needs in the IDOP Lesson Plan.
  2. Choose one country to pray for every day from now until Christmas. Begin praying for that country.
  3. Jeremiah was persecuted for telling the truth. Read the story in Jeremiah 38:1–13. Pray for someone who has been mistreated for standing up for the truth.
  4. Make a bookmark for your Bible that reminds you of the prayer needs of five countries often in the news, such as Iraq, Syria, Nigeria, Israel, and China. Go to the Countries section or enter the country names in the search box for more information about the countries.
  5. Make a plan to share what you know about the prayer needs of persecuted Christians with Christians in your church, Sunday school class, school class, or family. Practice telling a story about persecuted Christians and describing the prayer needs of persecuted Christians so you will be ready to share.

Welcoming Strangers (Deuteronomy 10:19)

Logo

Can your family or class take a welcome gift or a special occasion gift to a student or family from another country?

News reports say that more than 800,000 people from other countries are students in the United States. Many of the students say they do not have friends in the U.S., and they wish they had some.

You might want to include VOM’s Jesus: He Lived Among Us DVD with your gift. The DVD is available in Arabic, Bangla, Bosnian, Chinese, Farsi, Hindi, Korean, Russian, Turkish, Urdu, Spanish, and English. For more information, see the offer in the November 2014 The Voice of the Martyrs newsletter. (The newsletter offers English/Spanish DVDs for 5 for $10 and 20 for $20. DVDs in other languages are available for $2 each.)

To watch a trailer from the DVD and to view photos of how it was produced, visit www.theJesusMovie.com.


Make Plans for Christmas Care

Christmas Care

Are you looking for a unique Christmas project for your family or group? Every year, VOM supporters provide Christmas Care packs to children in countries where Christians are persecuted.

The packs include clothing, school supplies, health items, Christian books, and other gifts.
The children are encouraged to know that Christians from other countries care for them and are thinking about them at Christmastime.

Watch for more information about how you can sponsor the packs in the November 2014 The Voice of the Martyrs newsletter and on this website.


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