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Cuba

Cuba

Cuba

RESTRICTED

Capital
The capital of Cuba is Havana

Size
In area, a little larger than Tennessee.

Main Languages
Spanish

Time
Cuba is in the same time zone as Florida.

Interesting Fact
Cuba is only 90 miles from the U.S. Name a place that is about 100 miles from your house. Cuba is closer to the U.S. than that!

 

History
Cuba became independent from Spain in 1902. Fidel Castro took over the government in 1959 and put a communist government in place. Castro died in 2016.

Religion
About half the people in Cuba consider themselves to be Christian.

Persecution
In the 1960s, President Fidel Castro called Christians “social scum.” He strictly controlled Christian activity and persecuted Christians. In recent years, Christians have sometimes enjoyed more freedom. But the communist government is still in control of the people’s everyday lives. They can grant freedoms when they want to, and take them away when they want to. Freedom of religion is still not a reality, and persecution still happens.


Egypt

Egypt

Egypt

RESTRICTED

Capital
Cairo

Size
In area, Egypt is larger than Texas and smaller than Alaska.

Main Languages
Arabic, English, French

Time
At 6 a.m. U.S. Central Standard Time, it is 2 p.m. in Egypt.

Interesting Fact
Falafel is a food made of mashed chickpeas or beans shaped into patties. McDonald’s restaurants in Egypt serve falafel in a sandwich. They call it the McFalafel. 

History
Egypt had a strong civilization even in the time of the Old Testament. After Christ, it became a mostly Christian country. Arabs arrived in the seventh century, bringing the Arabic language and the Muslim religion with them.

Religion
Today more than 85 percent of the people in Egypt are Muslim.

Persecution
Christianity is allowed, but Christians do not always have an easy time practicing their faith. They are often treated unfairly by teachers, police officers, and bosses. Muslims sometimes object to having churches built in their communities.

By law, Christian men may not marry Muslim women. Sometimes Christian  men, women, and children are kidnapped by radical Muslims. Muslims who leave Islam to follow Christ suffer serious persecution.


Eritrea

Eritrea

Eritrea

RESTRICTED

Capital
Asmara

Size
Eritrea’s population is about 4.5 million, making it smaller than 24 of the 50 U.S. states.

Main Languages
Tigrinya, Arabic

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

Interesting Fact
Eritrean children take the first name of their father as their last name. (What would your name be if your family followed this custom?)

History
Eritrea used to be part of Ethiopia. After a 30-year war for independence, Eritrea became a separate country in 1993. Ethiopia and Eritrea began fighting again in 1998. That war lasted about three years.

Religion
In 2002, the leaders of Eritrea closed all churches that were not registered with the government. Only Catholic, Lutheran, and Orthodox Christian churches were allowed to register. Muslims are also allowed to practice their faith.

Persecution
In recent years, hundreds of Christians from unregistered churches in Eritrea have been arrested. Christians have been arrested during prayer meetings, at weddings, off the street, and even during family devotions in their homes. Men, women, youth, and young children have been arrested.


Ethiopia

Ethiopia

Ethiopia

HOSTILE

Capital
Addis Ababa

Size
Slightly less than twice the size of Texas.

Main Languages
Amharic

Time
At 6:00 a.m. U.S. Central Standard Time, it is 2:00 p.m. in Ethiopia.

History
Ethiopia was ruled by royalty until Emperor Haile Selassie was overthrown by the military in 1974. Droughts, famine, fighting, and violence have been part of Ethiopia’s recent history.

Religion
About 60% are Christians and about 30% are Muslims.

Persecution
In some areas, there is tension between Muslims and Christians, but attacks on Christians by radical Muslims are rare.


Gaza and the West Bank

Gaza and the West Bank

Gaza and the West Bank

HOSTILE

Size
Slightly smaller than Delaware.

Main Languages
Arabic, Hebrew, and English

Time
At 6:00 a.m. U.S. Central Standard Time, it is 2:00 p.m. in Gaza and the West Bank.

History
The United Nations divided the territory called “Palestine” into two parts in 1947. One part was given to the Jewish people. The other part was for “Palestinian” Arabs in the region. The Jewish part, Israel, became an independent country in 1948. Many of the Palestinians now live in Gaza and the West Bank. Israel gained control of Gaza and the West Bank in a 1967 war.
Religion
Mostly Muslim.

Persecution
A violent group called Hamas took over Gaza in 2007. Hamas said they would protect Christians. But persecution against Christians increased, and most Christians have left Gaza. Many Christians have also left Bethlehem, Jerusalem, and other places in the West Bank.