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Spotlight Story

News from Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank

Map

Full Skies

The skies over Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank have been busy in recent months. Children in Gaza flew 15,000 kites at the same time to break a world record. And hundreds of thousands of migrating storks, pelicans, and cranes fly over the area every year on their way south for the winter.

Hard Times for Christians

Most Christians have left Gaza because they fear persecution from radical Muslims. Many have also left the West Bank cities of Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Check Gaza and West Bank facts at the Gaza and the West Bank profile.


Spotlight Story

Water Gun Arrests

Iran
Schoolgirls in Iran

Several youth were arrested in Iran recently for shooting water guns at each other. A large group of teen boys and girls gathered for fun at a park on a hot day. The girls were dressed in the long, hot gowns required by the strict Muslim government for girls and women. The youth squirted water at each other, smiling and laughing.

The government did not approve of boys and girls playing together because it is against their strict rules. Many youth are tired of the rules. Some are leaving Islam to follow Christ.


Spotlight Story

Update from Laos

Som
Som from Laos

The 1st Quarter 2011 Kids of Courage newsletter featured a story about Som, a boy in Laos.

Som is a 12-year-old Khmu Christian who lives in a village in Laos. (The Khmu are a tribal group in Southeast Asia.) One afternoon at school, he began to feel sick. The teacher gave him permission to leave school.

As he walked outside toward his bike to ride home, he noticed a group of boys near the place where students parked their bikes. Som knew who the boys were. A few days earlier, they had gathered around a village hut where Som and about 20 of his Christian friends were singing worship songs.

The boys mocked and teased the Christians, saying, “Your God is not a true God.” They shouted, “If you come out, we will beat you up!”

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Spotlight Story

Daniel

Iran
Iranian schoolboys

Daniel is a 13-year-old boy in Iran who used to be a Muslim. “Before my faith in Jesus, I did wrong things,” Daniel said. “I went to my uncle’s house and smoked, and I fought a lot. But now that God is in my heart, things are much better.

“I like school because they teach us and help us to reach our target in the future. If other students hurt me, I act with kindness. If they hurt me badly, I go to the principal. I don’t fight.”

Like many Iranian Christians, Daniel attends a secret house church. “They are all good and kind to each other, and they care,” Daniel said of the church members. “God’s presence is there. We pray that God will tell us what he wants from us.

“My favorite Bible story is when the blind man saw Jesus, and he said, ‘I want to see.’ Because he asked with faith, Jesus told him, ‘Your faith has healed you.’ One night before Iranian New Year, I became very ill and asked my dad to pray. The next day I was totally well, and I understood God’s power.

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Spotlight Story

Asal

Iran

Asal is a 7-year-old Christian girl in Iran. She goes to church at a house church. Only two other children attend the services at her house church. The police in Iran are suspicious if they see large groups of people gathering at a house.

Asal is happy that she has a Christian family. “Before they put their faith in Christ, my mom and dad used to fight all the time,” Asal said. “Now they no longer fight.”

But Asal also said, “The hardest thing about being a Christian is that I cannot openly say I am a Christian.” It’s against the law in Iran for Muslims to become Christians.

“Please pray that one day we may be able to speak freely,” Asal added.

To Do: Have you prayed for Christians in Iran? You can find more about how to pray for Iranians in Bold Believers in Iran, a free activity book in the Downloads section of this site.