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Comparing Muslim Beliefs and Practices

Prayer Muslims believe they should pray five times a day at certain times. They are taught what they should say and do during the five times. 41% of American Muslims say they pray all five prayers every day. (Source: Pew Research Center Study) 61% say they pray every day at least once. (70% of U.S. Christians say they pray every day.)
Mosque attendance Many Muslims believe they should go to a mosque to pray, especially men, and especially on Fridays. 40% of American Muslims attend a mosque at least once a week. (45% of U.S. Christians attend church.) (Source: Pew Research Study)
Ramadan Muslims believe they should fast from sunrise to sunset during Ramadan, a month on the Muslim calendar. A Christian missionary estimated that half of Muslim adults fast throughout Ramadan. (Source: Understanding Muslim Teachings and Traditions by Phil Parshall)
Coverings for women Many Muslims believe that the Muslim holy book, the Quran, commands women to cover their heads in public (Quran 33:59). It is estimated that about 10% of Muslim women in America cover their heads. (Source: Asma Gull Hassan on the Beliefnet Web site)
The Quran 86% of American Muslims believe that the Quran is the word of Allah, whom they worship. (78% of U.S. Christians believe the Bible is the Word of God.) 50% of U.S. Muslims believe the Quran should be taken literally, word for word. (40% of American Christians believe the Bible is literally the truth, word for word.) (Source: Pew Research Study)

Suzanis from Uzbekistan

Click the image to open the coloring page

In the past, girls in Uzbekistan prepared for marriage by making decorations for their future home. Families encouraged their sons to marry a girl who could sew well and work hard.

Suzanis are one kind of embroidered decoration girls learned to make. One suzani could take as long as 18 months to finish. The design on the suzani identified the part of Uzbekistan where it was made. Today more girls go to school and do not have as much time to sew. Shops in Uzbekistan sell suzanis made by both men and women.

Laos Stick Game

Children in Laos enjoy a game somewhat like the traditional American game of jacks. Players sit on the ground and use small bamboo sticks to play. They toss one stick in the air, then quickly pick up another off the ground while the first is in the air. They try to catch the tossed stick in the same hand before it falls to the ground. Try using two sticks about 3 to 5 inches long and see if you can do it!

Comparing Spirit Worship (Animism) and Christianity

Spirit Worship (Animism)
God Animists believe that gods and spirits are found in trees, rocks, plants, and other things. Some also believe in a great god who is above all the others. Christians believe in one God. “The Lord our God, the Lord is one” (Deuteronomy 6:4 and 1 John 5:20).
What is God like? If a great god exists, he is far away from humans and does not care about their daily needs, animists believe. Spirits and gods are unpredictable. They may bring sickness or “bad luck” to people who do not please them. God “is not far from each one of us” (Acts 17:27). “God is love” (1 John 4:16). Cast “all your care upon Him, for He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7).
Ancestor Worship Many animists make offerings to their dead relatives. They hope the spirits of their ancestors will bring them good fortune. God alone is to be worshipped. (See Exodus 20:3.)
Wichcraft Animists believe that witch doctors, medicine men, and shamans have a special understanding of the spirit world. Animists go to them for help and protection. Witchcraft is not pleasing to God. (See Deuteronomy 18:10–12.) God desires what is best for His children.
Words of followers “I am a witch doctor. It is not an easy life I have. No matter what I do to try to please the spirits, I don’t get what I want. I have no peace. I want to be free of this now! Any life would be better than being a slave to evil spirits.”—Hmong man in Asia “Witchcraft seeks to give people assurance, protection, and superhuman power. The final result of being locked in witchcraft is that they are constantly afraid of things they can’t see. As Christians, we have nothing to fear from unseen spirits. Jesus lives in us and gives us victory. But we must obey the Scriptures and not become involved in witchcraft.”—Christian missionary

Uzbekistan: Church Kids Questioned


Most of the people in Uzbekistan are Muslims. Kids in some parts of the country can get into trouble just for going to church!

One Sunday, several police officers and a TV cameraman raided a church service in Uzbekistan. The cameraman filmed the entire service. After church, the police questioned the children. “How often do you go to church?” the police asked.

Later, the film aired on TV. The TV announcer said that the children were “deprived of a normal, happy childhood” because of their church activities.

About a month after the raid, policemen came to the children’s school. They took the children away from school to question them some more. The officers asked questions like, “What books do you read? What music do you listen to? What do your parents teach you?”

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