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Learning About Islam

LAI

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.

Spotlight Story

Patrick: Slave and Evangelist

Patrick was a teenager when kidnappers seized him from his home. The kidnappers sold him as a slave to a master in Ireland. Patrick feared that he might never see his family again.

Patrick cried out to God for help, and he grew closer to the Lord while he was a captive. Later Patrick was able to escape and return home to his family. But he didn’t forget that people who had captured him did not follow Jesus.

Against his family’s wishes, Patrick went back to Ireland to share the gospel. He faced many challenges and obstacles, but he continued to serve God. Patrick died on a March 17th many centuries ago. We remember him every year on St. Patrick’s Day.

The Story of St. Patrick: More Than Shamrocks and Leprechauns is by The Voice of the Martyrs with Cheryl Odden. To learn more about this and other children’s resources, visit the resource page on this site.


Spotlight Story

What’s Happening to the Crosses in China?

Fewer than 10 percent of the people in China are Christians. But in some parts of China, Christianity is growing.

Not everyone is happy about that. News reports in the United States this week told about government officials in China who are ordering that crosses be removed from churches.

Read more about what is happening in China below.

  • In 2013, a top government official visited Wenzhou, a Chinese city where many Christians live. He noticed that the new Sanjiang Church had a very large spire on top, and he didn’t like it.
  • The government decided to remove many crosses and churches. Officials said it would make the area safer and prettier.
  • In 2014, the government destroyed the Sanjiang Church.
  • More than 1,000 other churches have also been affected by the new rules. Some pastors have been arrested and believers injured when they tried to protect their churches.
  • A Christian lawyer started a group known as “Lawyers for the Protection of the Cross.” Thirty Christian lawyers joined the group.
  • The lawyer who started the group was seized in a police raid along with several pastors.

Pray

  • Thank God that many in China are coming to Christ.
  • Pray that lawyers and pastors in China will be treated fairly by police and officials.
  • Ask God to guide Christians in China in their relationship with non-Christians.

(Sources include: VOM Canada, The New York Times, China Aid, CBS News)

For more information about Christians in China, download Bold Believers in China from the Downloads section of this site.


Spotlight Story

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.


Spotlight Story

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.)


Spotlight Story

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?

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