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North Korea: Nothing Can Separate Us

North Korea

North Korea’s Reality TV
Television cameramen in North Korea recently took their cameras out into the streets and began filming people. They went to a store, a bus stop, a restaurant, and a sports stadium.

What were they looking for?
They were taking pictures of men with hair more than five centimeters (about two inches) long. Those with longer hair were shown on television as bad examples.

The government of North Korea controls the everyday life of its people. The government’s television series, called “Let Us Trim Our Hair in Accordance with Socialist Lifestyle,” was an effort to control men’s hair. (“Socialist” refers to the type of government that controls North Korea.) North Korean government officials said long hair takes energy away from the brain. However, women are allowed to have long hair. (Sources include: BBC News)

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India: Attacks on the Rise

India

Prakash and the Bull
Prakash is a Hindu farmer in India. Hindu teachings tell of many gods, even though Hindus may believe in one main god. Hindus have great respect for idols of Hindu gods.

Prakash did not always behave well. Sometimes he drank a lot of liquor and got drunk. He attended Christian worship services from time to time. Perhaps he was looking for the truth and for answers to his problems.

One day, a stray bull wandered into Prakash’s field. Prakash threw a rock at the bull to scare it away. But Prakash was drunk, and he missed the bull. Instead he hit a Hindu idol standing at the edge of his field.

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China: Youth Prepare for Risky Missions

China

Some Christian youth in China attend a very unusual school. One thing that makes it so different is that the principal does not come to school very often. Another thing is that the students stay at the school for up to a year and rarely go outside. This school also has a prayer room where students sit or kneel to pray on mats on the floor.

The school is a secret training school for future evangelists and pastors. The students range in age from 16 to 20. They are required to complete the ninth grade before the school accepts them as students.

In China, Christian training is illegal for anyone under 18. Any Christian activity outside the “official church” is not approved by the authorities. The school is not part of the state-approved church.

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Iran: “I Couldn’t Wait to Share Jesus”

Iran

Growing Up Muslim
“Sara” (not her real name) is a woman in Iran. She grew up in a Muslim family. Even when she was very young, she thought about eternal things. “I wanted the Truth,” she told workers from The Voice of the Martyrs.

Muslims worship Allah; they believe he is the creator of the universe. Muslims believe they should pray five times a day at certain times, in certain ways, saying certain words. Sara saw other Muslims praying to Allah.

“As a young girl,” said Sara, “I asked my mom and dad if I could learn how to pray the prayers. I would lay out my white prayer cloth on the floor then place another cloth on top, then lay down a handkerchief with a stone. We have to put our nose on the stone.”

Christians know that we are saved from sin by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Muslims depend on their own good works to please Allah. They believe Allah will allow them to enter paradise when they die if they have done enough good works. Sara became known as someone who was working very hard to earn her way to paradise.

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Afghanistan: New Life Brings Risks

Afghanistan

New Drivers
Change comes slowly in Afghanistan, but new things are starting to happen in the Muslim nation.

For many years only Afghan men drove cars. Radical Taliban Muslims ruled Afghanistan until 2001, and the Taliban forced women to cover themselves from head to toe in long robes called “burqas.” (See the photo at left.) It is not possible to see well enough to drive safely in a burqa.

Delawar, an Afghan driving teacher, had only one woman student at his school in five years. But now many women are signing up for lessons. He has taught 60 women to drive in the past six months.

Afghan women drivers still have many struggles. Some men don’t think women should drive. The men sometimes stare or yell at women drivers or block them from moving by parking in front of them.(Source: Independent News, 1-15-05)

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