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Homework Help for School Reports

Would you like to read U.S. State Department reports about religious freedom in other countries? Click here, then click on a year (for example, “2016”) on the sidebar on the left. Find countries in the “Countries/Regions” section.

The reports include:
*A summary of religious freedom in the country
*The percentage of the people in the country who follow various religions
*Government rules and practices toward religious groups
*How people in communities in the country treat people of different religions

Read some facts from the 2016 reports below.

Afghanistan
The law … prohibits publicizing and promoting religions other than Islam and bans articles on any topic the government deems might harm the physical, spiritual, and moral well-being of persons, especially children and adolescents.

Yemen
Militants raided a girls school in Aden on March 8, to give “a last warning” to the students who had not yet adopted the imposed clothing rules detailed in leaflets signed by [Muslim radicals].

Iran
By law, non-Muslims may not serve [as judges], [in] the security services (separate from regular armed forces), or as public school principals.

North Korea
Ownership of Bibles or other religious materials brought in from abroad is reportedly illegal and also punishable by imprisonment and severe punishment, including, in some cases, execution.

China
Authorities… harassed or detained the family members, including children, of religious leaders and religious freedom activists.


China: Christian School Closed

Officials in some parts of China try to prevent children from attending religious services. But bold Christians in China continue to teach children about Jesus.

A church in the Henan province of China started a Christian school in the home of a woman named Zhu. But a few months ago, national security officers came to the house and took away books and a computer, and closed the school. The officials believed that the teachers were “brainwashing” the students. “Brainwashing” means pressuring or forcing someone to learn different beliefs and attitudes in order to make them give up their own beliefs.

Pray that the children will be able to continue learning about Jesus and the Bible. Pray that their parents will find new ways to educate their children.


Philippines: A Game and Manners

Pabitin

Pabitin is a traditional children’s party game in the Philippines. Small bags of toys or treats are hung from a grid of sticks or wires. An adult raises and lowers the treats by pulling a rope or string attached to the grid. As the treats are lowered, the children jump up to try to grab them before the grid is pulled away.

Good Manners
Children in the Philippines learn to greet older people in a special way. The children take the adult’s hand and touch the back of the hand to their own forehead.

Enter “Philippines” in the Search Box to find stories about bold Christians in the Philippines.


“Real People, Real Situations”

“Jail” constructed by church members for display at the VBS

Vera D. led a VBS at her small church in Missouri last summer using the Kids of Courage VBS curriculum. “It was a huge success, and the children and adults loved it,” Vera said.

“I asked the kids at our final assembly if they had learned a lot of new things about kids of courage and they all yelled yes,” Vera continued. “When I asked all the workers if they had learned a lot this week while teaching the kids, I received a unanimous yes as well. The volunteers were pleased to do a VBS with real people and real situations instead of just cartoon characters. One of the children’s mothers stood up in church on Sunday and praised all of us for sharing about kids of courage with her son.”

Learn more about the Kids of Courage VBS curriculum here.


This Month

Parents and Teachers
The January 2018 issue of The Voice of the Martyrs magazine includes stories about bold believers in Central Asia, Indonesia, and Colombia. Topics covered include the difficulty of forgiving persecutors, working through fear, and “losing everything” to gain Jesus.

Also included are suggested prayers for persecuted Christians facing these issues. Prayer can encourage an imprisoned Christian to share the gospel with cellmates, give perseverance to an evangelist who is beaten by those hostile to the gospel, and help a new believer grow in faith after being rejected by family members.

You can share the adapted stories from this site about the featured Christians with your children, then pray together for the people in the stories.

Note: To subscribe to the free monthly The Voice of the Martyrs magazine, visit the subscription signup page.
Find downloadable resources featuring the highlighted countries in the Downloads section.