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A Story from Algeria

A Christian woman from Algeria, which is a Muslim country, told VOM contacts the following story.

“After I became a Christian, my family reported me to the police. One morning, the police took me to court. The judge asked, ‘What did you find in Islam that you didn’t like?’ I answered, ‘I was looking for God in Islam and I didn’t find him.’

“The judge then asked, ‘What do Christians say when they pray?’ Maybe he was trying to trap me. I tried to explain, but he still didn’t understand. ‘Where do you pray? What do you pray?’ he asked. I said, ‘We can pray anytime and anywhere.’

“’Can you pray now?’ he asked. I said, ‘Yes.’ He said, ‘Okay, pray.’

“I stood before him and raised my hands and started to pray. I knew that my prayer would be an opportunity to give a message of salvation. I began, ‘Thank you, Jesus, because we are sinners and you died for us.’ I took 10 minutes to finish my prayer. I prayed that God would bless the president of Algeria. I prayed for people in the court to see the salvation of Christ. When I said, ‘Amen,’ the officials in the court looked at each other. They were speechless. The judge said to me, ‘This case is dismissed. You can go home.’”

Note: Muslims pray memorized prayers five times a day at certain times. They do not believe that people are saved by the grace of God through faith in his Son Jesus. Instead, they try to earn their way to heaven by doing good works.


Gospel Train Ride

Islam, the religion of Muslims, is very strong in North Africa. Sometimes Christians are scared to talk to Muslims about Jesus, because it could be dangerous. So, one Christian teacher has an interesting way to teach his Christian students how to witness for Jesus.

The teacher takes the students to a city seven hours away by train. The students sit in the back of the train car to watch and learn. Then the teacher plays his guitar and sings Christian music. When Muslim passengers start to complain, he tells them why he is singing and what God has done for him in his life. The passengers become interested and ask him questions. By the time the train ride ends, the teacher has witnessed to many Muslims and the student has a desire to share the gospel, too!


Comparing Hinduism and Christianity in America

Hinduism
Christianity
Numbers More than one million Hindus live in North America. Hindu sources list almost 200 Hindu temples in America. Hundreds more are being planned or built. Hollywood stars and many others experiment with Hindu customs. More than 270 million Christians live in North America.
Senate prayers On July 12, 2007, the U.S. Senate opened with a Hindu prayer for the first time in history. The U.S. Senate has opened with prayer since 1789. Most of the prayers have been Christian.
Youth Many Hindu immigrants came to the U.S. years ago. At first, they worked to blend into America, sometimes ignoring their faith. Now they are spending more time passing their faith on to Hindu youth. Youth in America have many temptations and much confusion. “The next generation could be America’s most traumatized ever if there is not a decisive work of God’s Spirit” (Operation World). God is raising up Christians to help youth.
Beliefs and practices Hindus believe in one main god, but Hindu teachings tell of many gods. Salvation for Hindus means freedom from reincarnation (being reborn after death again and again). They believe they become part of their main god when the cycle of birth and death ends. Some of the ways Hindus try to get closer to this “salvation” include: rituals, good works, meditation, yoga, and the worship of gods. Christians believe in one God (Deuteronomy 6:4) and that people die once (Hebrews 9:27). The way to eternal life with God is through faith in His Son Jesus. (See John 14:6.)

Arrested for Eating

Pakistan

Two Christians in Pakistan were arrested one September day after a waiter in a restaurant served them tea and some food! The police took the Christians to the police station. They told the Christians that they were violating the rules of Ramadan, the Muslim holy month. During Ramadan, Muslims are not supposed to eat or drink from sunrise to sunset. The Christians told the police that they were not Muslims, but they were still arrested.

Pray for Christians in places where they are expected to follow Muslim rules even if they don’t believe Muslim teachings.

Note: Ramadan occurs 11 days earlier each year according to the calendar used in the United States. In 2011, it will be in August.