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Kids at Risk in Iran

Most of the people in Iran are Muslims. But some Muslims are growing tired of Islam. (Islam is the religion of Muslims. Learn more about Islam here.) And many are turning to Jesus.

The government does not want people to leave Islam, so Christians in Iran often worship God in secret house churches. Since so many people want to hear about Jesus and His love, Christian workers are very busy. Some workers leave their homes at 8 in the morning and don’t return until late at night.

A VOM worker recently visited Iranian Christian leaders. The worker heard about two Iranian teenagers who help their parents by taking on more responsibilities at home. Their parents serve the Lord many hours a day. The teens, who are 17 and 13, fix their own food and go to school on their own. “The Holy Spirit angels are watching over them,” said an Iranian Christian leader. “They have no one supervising them. We don’t have phones here, so if something happened, we wouldn’t know.”

Other Christian leaders have even younger children. It’s often not safe to leave the children with friends or relatives, because the children will be mistreated. Friends and relatives often don’t approve of their parents’ Christian work.

Please ask God to protect Iranian Christian kids.

(Source: VOM contacts. Edited from the original for length and clarity.)

Watch the following video to learn about Amin, a boy in Iran.


Christmas Care in Nigeria

Girl

Children around the world receive Bibles and gifts through The Voice of the Martyrs’ Christmas Care project. Nigeria was one of the countries where VOM distributed gifts to children in areas where Christians have been persecuted.

In many places in Nigeria, it is not always safe to be a Christian. A radical Muslim group, Boko Haram, attacks Christians and others they don’t agree with. Many children have lost parents in the attacks.

When 2,000 Nigerian Christian children gathered to get their Christmas Care gifts, some were afraid. A Christian adult said, “The recent activities of the Boko Haram created fear in the hearts of many who were in attendance.”

But God protected the children. Each of them received a children’s Bible, noodles, a notebook, pencils, a “football” (soccer ball), a pen, bottled milk, cabin biscuits (crackers), a bag of rice, and other items. The children were grateful for the gifts.

Read below one of them said.

“My name is Johnson. I live in an orphanage. I lost my mother, and I don’t know anything about my father. I was living with my grandmother before she took me to the orphanage due to her inability to take care of me.

“I will pray for [VOM] so that God will continue to grant them the heart and strength to do what they are doing. I am very happy seeing you among us. Your gifts tell us that we are not alone. To other children who have lost their parents, I want to tell them that they should not lose courage because we have a great Parent who can do more than what our earthly parents can do for us.”

For information about this year’s Christmas Care project to help children in countries where VOM works around the world, see the November 2015 The Voice of the Martyrs newsletter or visit VOMBooks.com.

(Source: VOM-Nigeria. Edited and paraphrased for clarity and length.)


Thanksgiving: The Riches of Faith

Sabina

Pastor Richard Wurmbrand and his wife, Sabina, were in prison in Romania because of their Christian activities. Their prisons were miserable, dirty places. Guards fed them poorly and treated them harshly.

Sabina wrote about her prison experiences in a book called The Pastor’s Wife. She noted in her book that most of the other prisoners around her were unhappy and hopeless.

But Sabina was thankful. “Those of us who had faith realized for the first time how rich we were,” she said. “The youngest Christians and the weakest had more strength to call upon than the wealthiest ladies and the smartest ones.

“[People without faith] often seemed to dry up like indoor plants in the wind. Heart and mind were empty.”

Sabina was also very thankful for Bible verses she had memorized before she went to prison. She later wrote, “We had no Bible. We hungered for it more than bread. How I wished I’d learned more of it by heart! But we repeated daily the verses we knew. Other Christians, like me, had memorized long passages, knowing that soon their time would come for arrest.

“They brought riches to prison. While others quarreled and fought, we lay on our mattresses and repeated verses to ourselves through the long nights. We learned what newcomers brought and taught them what we knew. So an unwritten Bible circulated through all Romania’s prisons.

“After work, women came to Christian prisoners and asked, even begged, to be told something of what we remembered from the Bible. The words gave hope, comfort, and life.”

One day, a professor’s wife came to Sabina in the prison and said, “How happy you must be to be able to think and keep your mind busy and pray! I try to remember a poem… and my mind goes back to this horrible prison. I can’t concentrate.”

(Source: The Pastor’s Wife, by Sabina Wurmbrand. Edited for length, clarity, and reading level.)

To Talk About

  • What were two things for which Sabina was thankful?
  • Why had some prisoners memorized Bible verses before they went to prison?
  • What were the “riches” the Christian prisoners brought to prison?

Persecuted Church Grows in Nepal

Nepal child
Child praying in Nepal

Coloring Page
Coloring page to print and color

Matthew, a Christian who helps The Voice of the Martyrs in Nepal, recently talked to VOM workers in the United States about his work in his home country. “We always talk about persecution, and about how we will stand when persecution comes,” said Matthew. “We talk about Acts 7 and how when Stephen was persecuted, he said, ‘Father, forgive them.’

“There are very few Christians in Nepal,” Matthew continued. “So nobody listens to our voices. Only God listens to us. So we pray, ‘Please give us more courage to withstand when the persecution comes.’

“We have many, many stories of [Christians forgiving people who have persecuted them],” said Matthew. “A pastor invited me to speak at his church. Then two years ago, six Christians’ houses were burned completely [by persecutors]. When I went back to the church, there were 85 Christians in the church. The first time when I went, there were only 24 Christians.

“I asked, ‘How did the church grow?’ The new members said, ‘These wonderful Christians forgave us after their houses were burned down and we believe in Christ now because of them.’

“One of the reasons the church is growing in Nepal is because of the Christians’ patience toward the persecutors.”

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

To Talk About

  • How many people were in the church before the Christians’ houses burned down? How many attended after the houses were burned?
  • Why did the new members become Christians?
  • What is “patience?”
  • Think of some places where it is common for people to lack patience. (Examples: Waiting in lines, dealing with someone who has treated you badly, etc.) How could a Christian show patience in those situations? How could showing patience encourage someone to want to know more about Christianity?

September 11 and Terrorists

On September 11, 2001, terrorists attacked two locations in the United States. The 19 terrorists hijacked four planes full of passengers and crashed two of them into New York’s World Trade Center on purpose. They crashed a third plane into the Pentagon, which is the headquarters of the U.S. military in Washington, D.C. A fourth hijacked plane crashed in a Pennsylvania field after passengers tried to stop the hijackers. Many died when the World Trade Center buildings collapsed.

The terrorists believed they were following the teachings of strict Islam.

The chart below compares terrorists’ beliefs with Christian responses.

Terrorist Beliefs and Christian Responses

Terrorist Beliefs Christian Responses
Fear
Terrorists use threats and violence to try to force others to do what they want. Terrorism is often carried out against innocent people who are no threat to the terrorists. Terrorists try to control people by scaring them. “Many look at terrorists with fear, others with hate. Jesus fears and hates no one. Like God who gives sunshine and rain to all, so He loves and desires to forgive and save all” (Richard Wurmbrand, founder of The Voice of the Martyrs)
Power Terrorists believe in using anger, hate, greed, and violence to get power. Richard Wurmbrand shared that the secret of real power is love, mercy, goodness, good character, and being a servant, as Jesus taught. (See Matthew 3:1–14 and Romans 12:21.)
Who is in control? Terrorists believe that there are powerful people or groups who cause all their problems. They think getting rid of those people will fix everything. God has placed Jesus “far above all rule and authority, power and dominion” (Ephesians 1:21, NIV) We can trust in Him. (See Proverbs 3:5.)
Success Terrorists think that conquering people in power will mean success. Jesus said, “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul” (Mark 8:36)?
Changing the world Terrorists believe the way to get desirable things is to change the world by acts of terrorism. Christians know that only Jesus has the key to eternal peace. His truth is for all places and all times. Fighting for wrong causes can fail. When someone trusts in God, they cannot fail forever.

Find another chart about terrorist beliefs here.

Additional charts comparing Christian truths with other worldviews are in the Beliefs section of this site.


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