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Letter from a Teacher


I am a high school teacher and I have kept a recent copy of the VOM magazine on my desk. Usually the talk about these Christians has led to talk about Christ and salvation. Never has anyone in the public school complained or told me to stop.

I have seen the realization that people are suffering and dying for the sake of Christ take hold of many so-so Christian teens and turn them into fireballs for the Lord. The boldness of the believers in the persecuted church lights a fire under them. I have seen many Bibles brought to school and read between classes and at lunch. Some students have started Bible classes in the library before and after school.

I wish these precious believers in the persecuted church could know the far-reaching effect of their testimonies. I am always amazed at the surprise people have when learning about our brothers and sisters in other countries. I am also amazed at how God can use that knowledge to turn the focus around to what is really important. Thank you, VOM.

Marsha C.

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Christians in Hiding


When Monifa was a teenager, she lived with her family in Egypt. Monica’s family were Muslims, but one evening they heard part of a Christian program on the radio.

Monifa was curious about what she had heard, so she began to listen to the program more often. Her parents were not happy about it, and they warned her to stop.

Monifa asked a Christian boy at her school to tell her more about Jesus. But he was afraid he might get in trouble if he shared his faith with a Muslim. Monifa found some information online at an Internet café. Then one day she saw a Bible at a Christian bookstore, so she took it to the restroom in the store to read it secretly.

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Comparing Shi’ite and Sunni Muslims

Percentage of followers in Iran (Source: The World Almanac and Book of Facts 2005) About 89 percent of Muslims in Iran are Shi’ite Muslims. About 10 percent of Muslims in Iran are Sunni Muslims.
Percentage of followers in the world About 15 percent of the world’s Muslims are Shi’ites. About 85 percent of the world’s Muslims are Sunnis.
History (1) Mohammed was the founder of Islam. Shi’ites believe that the leadership of Muslims should have been passed down to someone in Mohammed’s family. Sunnis believe that it was right for leadership to be passed from Mohammed down to leaders called “caliphs” (KAY-liffs).
History (2) Quarrels over who should be the leader resulted in the death of Mohammed’s grandson, Hussein. Hussein is still highly honored among Shi’ites as a Muslim martyr. Caliphs were chosen by elders among the Sunnis.
Leaders Imams are very important leaders among Shi’ites. Many Shi’ites, called “Twelvers,” believe that the 12th imam, who disappeared in the 800s A.D., did not die. They believe he will return as “the Mahdi” at the end of the world. Religious experts among Iranian Twelver Shi’ites are called “ayatollahs.” Sunni imams are simply the leaders of Friday prayers. (Friday is the Muslims’ holy day.)
Free will Shi’ites believe that humans were created with free will. Muslims worship Allah; they believe he created the world. Many Sunnis believe that good and evil are the will of Allah and that everything is decided by him before it happens.
Salvation Both Shi’ite and Sunni Muslims believe that human beings are born sinless, and they do not seek a personal Savior. They depend on their own good works to please Allah and to get them into paradise when they die. Neither Shi’ites nor Sunnis believe the following: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). Also see Romans 5:12 and Ephesians 2:8,9.