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Spotlight Story

New Birth in Bethlehem

Bethlehem ChurchChristians attending church in Bethlehem.

Today many Christians have fled Bethlehem because it is often not safe for followers of the Savior who was born there long ago. Fewer than five percent of the citizens of Bethlehem are Christians. Radical Muslims in the city have attacked Christians and churches.

During Christmastime in a recent year, some of the Christians in the city held a Christmas party and invited their neighbors to attend. A Muslim couple and their three children arrived early at the party. The pastor realized that the family was at the wrong event. The tickets in their hands were for another party. But the pastor invited the family to stay for a while.

The family stayed for a meal, singing, testimonies of Christians who had been persecuted, and a sermon. The Christians at the party showed them love and kindness. By the time the family left the party, their hearts were open to learning more about Jesus. They began to meet regularly with Christians to hear about the one who had been born in their city 2000 years ago.

Pray for the citizens of Bethlehem.

Spotlight Story

Christmas in Iraq

Christmas presentationIraqi children presenting a Christmas drama

Muslim radicals have made life hard for many Iraqi Christians. In recent years, thousands of Christians have left the country to go to safer places. Christians who remain in Iraq risk danger from people who do not want Christianity to spread.

In the face of the danger around them, Christians still teach their children the truth about God, Jesus, and the Bible.

Pray for the safety of Iraqi Christians this Christmas.

Readers Talk to Us Story

Christmas Focus


The Voice of the Martyrs received the following letter from a family in Kentucky.

Dear VOM, Thank you for the opportunity of serving the Lord. Our family gathered to do a parachute project. We wanted our grandchildren to know that the Christmas season should not be self-focused. There were 18 of us and we had a great production line. Everyone worked together to produce 20 parachutes. Several days later, our 5-year-old grandson Jackson said, “There are bad men in the jungle, and we made parachutes so they will get the Bible and become good men!”

To learn more about the VOM project to prepare parachutes that carry gospel materials into the guerrilla-controlled jungles of Colombia, visit:

Spotlight Story

Christmas Gift Ideas

The following is an excerpt from a past issue of The Voice of the Martyrs newsletter.

This year, why not give your relatives and friends a gift they will not have to return, find a place for, or remember to wear the next time you visit? Instead you can send a Christmas Care Pack to a child in their name. In your Christmas card to them, you can tell them of the needs in restricted countries and thank them for making Christmas special for a child. A Christmas Care Pack ($25 per pack) is also a project well within the reach of a Sunday school class or home group.

And why not honor your pastor this year with a new book? Books and other gifts are available at

To find out more about Christmas Care and how your family or group can sponsor a pack, check the November 2011 issue of The Voice of the Martyrs newsletter.

Spotlight Story

Happy Believer in Kyrgyzstan


The Voice of the Martyrs recently heard the following story from a contact in Kyrgyzstan.

John was a 15-year-old boy in Kyrgyzstan, where most people are Muslims and it can be difficult to learn about Jesus. John was sad because he did not have any hope for his future. The only thing he was really looking forward to was getting a passport on his 16th birthday so he would be considered an adult.

Just before his birthday, John had to be admitted to a hospital. He shared a room with two people, one of them a Christian. John and the other non-Christian tried to irritate the Christian. But after 4 days, even that grew boring. The Christian had a children’s Bible with him, and John read it from cover to cover. The Christian shared his faith gently with John.

After John was discharged from the hospital, he saw an advertisement for a music concert. He had never heard live music before, and he decided to go to the concert. The concert was in a church and the music group played worship songs. John sat on the back row between two ladies, and as he listened to the beautiful music, he began to cry. “I was so ashamed,” he said. What would the women next to me think of me?

When the concert was over he got up to leave. But before he could sneak out in embarrassment, one of the women hugged him and said, “God loves you very much.” Then she left. Later John told his friends about what had happened. “You can’t go there!” they said. “Those people worship a foreign God!”

But John was drawn back to the church week after week, and he is now a happy believer.