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Christians Blamed for Virus

(Sources: VOM Australia, VOM Canada)

Pastor Mamadou Karambiri and his wife share God’s love in the African country of Burkina Faso. Recently, radical Muslims from Mali have been attacking Christians in Burkina Faso.

In February, the pastor and his wife attended a conference in France, where they were exposed to the coronavirus. They were tested, and the tests revealed they did not have the virus, so they returned home. But then they started having symptoms of the illness, and they were quarantined.

Their sickness has resulted in an increase of persecution against Christians. Some are accusing Christians of bringing the virus to Burkina Faso.

VOM Canada offers the following prayer suggestions for Burkina Faso.

Please prayerfully uphold those in Burkina Faso and around the world who’ve been infected by the virus and are facing uncertainty over the outcome, including people who are in need of Christ and don’t know where to turn. Pray that sound judgement and reason will prevail so that Christians will not have to endure added suffering because of unwarranted blame. Ask God to ensure the full recovery of Pastor Mamadou and his wife, so that their ministry can continue in this volatile area. Also, lift up other believers throughout the country who are facing opposition [and threats] due to the hostility of militants.


Javed: A Christian in Pakistan

(Source: VOM-Australia. Photo: A family in Pakistan)

How did you celebrate Christmas last year?

Did you go to church? Decorate your house? Eat special food? Exchange gifts with family members?

That’s how Javed, a Christian in Pakistan, enjoyed the occasion. But he wasn’t always able to celebrate Christmas in special ways.

Like many Christians in Pakistan, he started working at a young age to help support his family. Christians in his country often do not have the opportunity to get a good education or job. Family members of all ages have to work sometimes. Javed was 6 years old when he went to work and live at a brick kiln. He was forced to work to pay off the debt of a relative he didn’t even know.

Click here to learn more about the tasks of a brick kiln worker.

The brick kiln bosses forced his family to work on Sundays, so they were not able to go to church. They could go to church on Christmas, but only if they left one family member behind to prevent the family from trying to escape their harsh jobs and lives.

When Javed made a mistake on the job, he was fined, and the loan debt was raised. He would never be able to finish paying off the debt, no matter how hard he worked. But thanks to God and kind Christians, Javed was freed from the brick kiln when someone paid off his family’s debt. He is now an adult, free to attend church, celebrate Christmas, and have a somewhat better job.

But his struggles are not over. His wife died of an illness because they couldn’t afford medical treatment. Javed does his best to take care of their four children, and he is thankful to be able to go to church and celebrate special occasions with them.

Pray for Christians in Pakistan who work in the brick kilns.

Learn more about Christians in Pakistan in Bold Believers in Pakistan, available in the Downloads section.

Watch a video about Pakistani Christians here. (Parents and teachers: Please preview the video before showing it to younger children, and if children view it, stop the video at the end before additional videos appear that you have not previewed.)


Torchlighters News

Children learn about real-life Christian heroes from Torchlighters DVDs, produced by Christian History Institute and The Voice of the Martyrs.

Visit the Torchlighters Facebook page to find out about their new streaming service. They have decided to release the service earlier than planned and FREE during the time when many are staying home due to the spread of the coronavirus.

Find information about The Torchlighters Ultimate Activity Book here. Additional related free resources are available in the Downloads section of this site and at Torchlighters.org.

 


Uygur Tightrope Walking

Acrobatics is a traditional type of performance art among Uygurs. Some Uygurs have broken world records in tightrope walking. Once, a 3-year-old Uygur performer walked backwards across a tightrope that was stretched about 100 feet off the ground. And he was blindfolded!

Uygur Christians must feel like they are walking on an invisible tightrope sometimes. Below them, waiting for them to fall, are China’s communist leaders who want to control all the religions in the country. There are also Muslim neighbors and relatives who do not want them to be Christian. Just like tightrope walkers, Uygur Christians can get in trouble if they take one wrong step.

To Try: Stretch a rope or string along the ground. See if you can walk along the rope backwards. Try it blindfolded.


Uygurs: Tornissa and the Unlikely Letter

China

Uygurs [also spelled “Uyghurs;” pronounced “WEE-gurz”] are a people group living mainly in northwest China. Almost all Uygurs are Muslim. China’s communist leaders want to control all religions in their country. Officials are often suspicious of Muslims or Christians who take their faith seriously.

Much has been reported in the news about internment camps for Uygur Muslims in northeastern China. However, Christians, Buddhists, Kazakh people, and other perceived threats to the Communist government are also imprisoned in the camps.

Learn more in Bold Believers Among China’s Uygurs, available in the Downloads section.

Read below the story of a Uygur girl who learned about Jesus from missionaries in the 1930s.

In the late 1800s, Swedish missionaries and other Christians worked among the Uygur Muslim people in Xinjiang, China. Then during the 1930s, a great persecution of Uygur Christians began. Missionaries were kicked out of Xinjiang.

Tornissa, a Uygur girl, was raised by Swedish missionaries in a Christian orphanage. She was 14 years old when the missionaries were forced to leave Xinjiang.

After the missionaries left, Chinese officials put Tornissa in prison for two years. She was treated badly in prison. She thought she would die from the harsh treatment. But God healed her after she was released.

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