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Facts about Somalia


  • The capital of Somalia is Mogadishu.
  • Somalia is about the size of Texas.
  • Almost 100 percent of the people are Muslims.
  • There are no public places of worship for non-Muslims.
  • Only about 40 percent of adults can read.
  • Somalis are expected to live (“life expectancy”) until about age 50.
  • “School life expectancy” is 3 years for boys and 2 for girls. (The number of years of schooling children are expected to get is the “school life expectancy.”)
  • Wars and fighting have disturbed the country for many years.
  • A Muslim terrorist group, al-Shabab, persecutes Christians.

To Do: Turn each fact above into a prayer for Somalia. For example, the first fact is, “The capital of Somalia is Mogadishu.” You might pray, “Dear God, Please let all the people of Mogadishu learn that you love them. We pray that more and more Somalis will follow you and share your love with others in Africa. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

Useful Invention


Cellophane tape is having a birthday this month. It was invented in the 1920s and patented on May 27, 1930. How many ways do you use tape at home and school? Here’s one way you can use it.

Hang up a world map. (You can call (800) 747-0085 to ask for a VOM prayer map that highlights countries where Christians are persecuted.) Print pictures of Christians around the world from this website, or photocopy photos from The Voice of the Martyrs magazine. Tape them to the appropriate countries on the map. Or, write prayers for Christians in the countries on slips of paper and tape them to the map. Pray regularly for the Christians displayed.

Note: Find prayer suggestions for countries in Bold Believers activity books in the Downloads section.

More News from Iran

Saudi Arabia

Iran used to be called Persia. The body of water between Iran and Saudi Arabia is commonly known as the Persian Gulf. But most Arab countries call it the Arabian Gulf. In 2010, Iran threatened to ban or seize airplanes of any airline flying over Iran that called the gulf the Arabian Gulf.

Now some Iranians are upset again because the Internet site Google Maps left out the name of the gulf entirely. A government spokesman in Iran said Google is “fabricating lies.”

Lawyer Arrested

Pastor Youcef is a prisoner in Iran because he protested a government rule that said children must study the Quran in school. The Quran is the Muslim holy book. Pastor Youcef, a Christian, did not want his 8 and 9 year old sons to be forced to study the book. (You can read more about Pastor Youcef at

Recently Pastor Youcef’s lawyer was reportedly sentenced to nine years in prison for “acting against national security.” Now other lawyers may be afraid to help Pastor Youcef, fearing they might be imprisoned.

Two Million Scriptures

Chinese boy with a Bible

People who support The Voice of the Martyrs’ projects make it possible for VOM to deliver Bibles and New Testaments into countries where Scriptures are not easy to get. During two recent years, VOM distributed a total of more than 2 million Bibles!

How much is 2 million? A gardening website says that the average square foot of lawn has 3,000 blades of grass in it. So 667 square feet would, on average, contain about 2,001,000 blades of grass, just a little over 2 million. Measure off a 22-foot by 30-foot grassy area to form a 660-square foot space.

Pick up a blade of grass from the space to represent one person who has received a Bible or New Testament. Look at all the other blades left in the measured-off area. They represent people who now also have Scriptures they can read for themselves. Many also share their Bibles with others.


Ropes, Tarps, and Poles Form a Church in Indonesia

Setting up a tent in Indonesia

Police in Indonesia sealed a church in Indonesia and would not let the members enter. So the congregation met for worship beside the road in front of the church. “The pastors who brought the sermons spoke about loving those who hate you,” said a church member. The church continued meeting outside for more than a year.

“When it looked like we would have rain on our church service, we used ropes, plastic tarps, and bamboo poles,” one church member said. “We would tie the big plastic tarps to the fence and run the ropes through the door handles of cars, making a big tent where we could worship. Then our photocopied hymn sheets would not get wet.”

Fact: Indonesia is the most populated Muslim nation in the world.

To Try: To make a “pole church,” tie or tape the corners of a sheet to four long poles. Secure them with rubber bands. Anchor each pole through the supports on a chair. Tape one end of each pole to a chair leg. Sit under the sheet and sing Christian songs as the Indonesian Christians do in their outdoor church. Pray for Christians in Indonesia.