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Kids of Courage in Russia

KOC in Russia
Дети отваги
(Children of Courage)

The U.S.S.R. (often called “the Soviet Union”) was the largest communist country in the world. In the early 1990s, it broke up into many smaller countries.

People in the smaller countries have their own languages. But many still speak Russian, the language of the Soviet Union.

Russian-speaking Christians have started a children’s website using Kids of Courage stories.

Go to the Map of Visitors page on this site to see if anyone in the former Soviet Union has recently visited Kids of Courage. The countries formed when the U.S.S.R. broke up are: Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania.

You can find out what life is like for Christians in some of those countries in the Countries section of this site.

Pray for the Leaders

Afghan boys

“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:1–4).

The presidents of Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, and Mauritania are observing their birthdays during the next week.

  • Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz is the president of Mauritania. His birthday is December 20th. In his country, only Muslims may be citizens, and anyone who decides to follow Jesus loses their citizenship.
  • Hamid Karzai, whose birthday is December 24th, is the president of Afghanistan. “There is one known Jewish citizen….Afghanistan’s last known Jew maintains Kabul’s sole synagogue….There are no public Christian churches. Afghan Christians worship alone or in small congregations in private homes” (Source: U.S. State Department’s International Religious Freedom Report).
  • Ilham Aliyev is the president of Azerbaijan. His birthday is December 24th. By law, people from other countries cannot come to Azerbaijan and encourage citizens to become Christians. Read more about Christians in Azerbaijan in the “Countries” section of this site.

At Christmastime, remember those Christians around the world who worship alone or in small, secret groups in homes. Pray that the leaders and citizens in those countries will want to know Jesus.

Send a Note to a Persecuted Pastor

Pastor Zaur, who lives in Azerbaijan, has suffered through raids on his church, fines, and imprisonment because of his Christian activities. Read a post about the pastor here.

Last month, Pastor Zaur’s wife died of cancer. Her faith was strong, and she was not afraid of dying.

Would you like to send a note of encouragement or sympathy to the pastor and his family? (He has two adult children.) Find out more about his life and how to send him a note.

Flags of Turkey and Similar Flags


The flags of many Muslim countries display the crescent moon and a star. Before Islam began, pagans who worshipped many gods used the crescent moon as a symbol. (Islam is the religion of Muslims.) Muslim Turks who conquered Constantinople also used the moon as their symbol. (Constantinople in now called Istanbul. Istanbul is the capital of Turkey.)

People began to associate the crescent moon with the religion of Islam. Some Muslims today say the moon is not a symbol of Islam. However, the moon and star appear on the flags of many Muslim countries.

Print and color the page of flags here. The background of the flag of Turkey is red and the moon and stars are white. Find the colors of the other flags in the Countries section of this website, in the online CIA Factbook, or in other sources.

Enter the names of the countries in the search box of this site or the tags for this post to find stories that can guide you about how to pray for the country.

The Sad Old Man


Day after day, a sad old man wandered up and down the streets of his town in Azerbaijan. At night he slept in a shelter for homeless refugees.

The old man used to live in the part of Azerbaijan called Nagorno-Karabakh. When fighting began in Nagorno-Karabakh, he was driven from his home. His wife died in the struggle. His children and grandchildren were scattered all over the country. So the man wandered the streets, sad and lonely.

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