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Bold Believers in Syria

Bold Believers in Syria includes stories, history and culture facts, activities, crafts, and recipes that help children understand the daily lives of their Christian brothers and sisters who face Islamic extremism. The 48-page book is available free from the Downloads section of this site.

Bold Believers in Syria provides age-appropriate companion material for VOM’s I Am N information and resources. (See i-am-n.com.)

Countries Story

Morocco

Morocco

Morocco

HOSTILE

Capital
Rabat

Size
Morocco’s population is about 31 million, a few million less than the population of California.

Main Languages
Arabic

Time
At 6 a.m. U.S. Central Standard Time, it is 12 p.m. in Morocco.

Interesting Fact
Morocco’s “Marathon of the Sands” has been called “the toughest footrace on earth.” The race lasts six days and covers more than 150 miles in hundred-degree temperatures.

History
During Jesus’ time on earth, Rome ruled the land where He lived. Rome also ruled North Africa where Morocco is today. After Jesus’ death on the cross, Christianity spread to North Africa. People called Berbers lived there then, and some still live in Morocco today. Arab armies brought Islam to North Africa in the seventh century. Over the years, many groups ruled Morocco, including the Spanish and the French. Morocco became an independent country in 1956.

Religion
Islam is the official religion of Morocco, and about 99 percent of the people are Muslims. Morocco’s king is called “the Commander of the Faithful.” He makes sure that Moroccans respect Islam. Telling people about Christ is against the law.

Persecution
The king’s job is to be sure that the country continues to show “respect for Islam.” The government forbids people from handing out Christian books and pamphlets. Christian missionary work is not allowed. Christians may be left alone if they do not try to spread their faith. But leading people to Christ is against the law. Muslims who become Christians are often treated badly in Morocco. Many Moroccans are deciding to follow Christ anyway.


Countries Story

Nepal

Nepal

Nepal

HOSTILE

Capital
Kathmandu

Size
Slightly larger than Arkansas.

Main Languages
Nepali

Time
At 6:00 a.m. U.S. Central Standard Time, it is 4:45 p.m. in Nepal.

History
After a war with Britain, the government of Nepal did not trust foreigners. So Nepal was closed off from the rest of the world from 1816 to 1951. Few people in Nepal had the opportunity to learn about Jesus during those years. Thousands of people died during 10 recent years of civil war between Maoists (communists) and the government.

Religion
Mostly Hindu, many Buddhist, many who mix both religions.

Persecution
Christians have been persecuted by both Maoists and radical Hindus in Nepal. People who come to Christ from other religions are often persecuted by their own families, neighbors, and bosses.

Maoists gained more power in recent years. When Maoists have come to power in other countries, they have not been kind to Christians.


Countries Story

Nigeria

Nigeria

Nigeria

HOSTILE

Capital
Abuja

Size
In area, Nigeria is larger than Texas and smaller than Alaska. Nigeria has the largest population of any country in Africa. Source: CIA Factbook

Main Languages
English, Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo, and Fulani.

Time
At 6 a.m. U.S. Central Standard Time, it is 1 p.m. in Nigeria.

Interesting Fact
Children in Nigeria can watch a new TV show like “Sesame Street” called “Sesame Square.” Only about one-fourth of Nigerian homes have TVs, so the makers of “Sesame Square” are thinking about using radios and cell phones to reach more Nigerians.

History
Nigeria became independent from Britain in 1960. Greed and dishonesty have kept Nigeria from being a more successful country. Some Nigerians try to get money from people all over the world by sending dishonest e-mails that ask for money and falsely promise rewards. Others find different ways to try to cheat people. Honest Nigerians hope their country will improve.

Religion
Northern Nigeria is mostly Muslim, and the south is mostly Christian.

Persecution
Some Muslims in Nigeria would like the whole nation to be ruled by Muslim law, called Shariah Law. In some Muslim states of Nigeria, all schoolgirls must wear Muslim headscarves, even Christian girls. All students in some schools must take classes in Islam.

Christians have sometimes protested against Shariah Law. Christians and Muslims have also disagreed on other issues, and the disagreements have led to riots. Christians’ homes, stores, and churches have been destroyed, and Christian families have suffered greatly.


Countries Story

North Korea

North Korea

North Korea

RESTRICTED

Capital
Pyongyang

Size
Korea used to be one country. After World War II, the country was split into North Korea and South Korea. North Korea has more land than South Korea. But South Korea has a population of about 48 million people, compared with about 22 million in North Korea.

Main Languages
Korean

Time
At 6:00 a.m. U.S. Central Standard Time, it is 9:00 p.m. in North Korea.

Interesting Fact
Many people in North Korea do not have enough food to eat. But North Korea’s leader is not poor. A South Korean newspaper reported in 2009 that he has six special trains to take him from place to place. The trains have a total of 90 cars, complete with TVs, telephones, and bedrooms for the leader to use while he travels.

History
Today, North Korea is one country and South Korea is another. But Korea used to be all one country. Many Koreans followed Christ in the early 1900s. The city of Pyongyang was called “the second Jerusalem.” Japan took control of Korea in 1910. The Japanese wanted the Koreans to follow Japanese ways and non-biblical beliefs. They persecuted Christians, but the church still grew.

After World War II, Korea split into North Korea and South Korea. The North became a communist country. Today more than one-third of the people of South Korea follow Christ. Those in the North have no freedom of religion. Today many in Pyongyang have never heard of Jesus.

Religion
The North Korean government wants people to honor the country’s leader instead of God. A few churches exist, but the government controls whether or not people attend. Only God knows how many believers live in North Korea, because the government controls any information that comes in and out of North Korea.

Persecution
Christians risk great danger to meet together in secret. They know they can go to prison for many years just for owning a Bible. Thousands of Christians are in prison.


Countries Story

Oman

Oman

Oman

RESTRICTED

Capital
Muscat

Size
Slightly smaller than Kansas.

Main Languages
Arabic

Time
At 6:00 a.m. U.S. Central Standard Time, it is 3:00 p.m. in Oman.

History
A new sultan took control of the government of Oman in 1970. (A sultan is the ruler of a Muslim nation.) Qaboos, the new sultan, put plans in place to give citizens more freedom and opportunities. But the people still do not have as many rights as people in free countries.

Religion
Mostly Muslim.

Persecution
Islam is the official religion of Oman. Many workers from other countries live in Oman. They are allowed to go to non-Muslim buildings of worship approved by the government. But no one is allowed to gather for worship in other places, not even in homes. Christians must get approval from the government before they print any Christian books or materials. Almost all citizens are Muslims, and those who change their religion have fewer legal rights.


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