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IDOP Reminder

IDOP 2012

Every year, the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church in November reminds Christians to pray for those who are suffering for their faith. Ask your pastor or Sunday school teacher if you can help prepare to observe IDOP, make a display table about persecuted Christians, or lead a prayer on IDOP Sunday.

Watch: IDOP will be on November 11 this year. Watch VOM publications, websites, and Facebook pages for information about an IDOP resource kit you can order. The kit includes an 8-page lesson plan for kids.

Note: Look in the Download section of this site for downloads of past IDOP lesson plans.


Persecution News Updates

Bangladesh

Bangladesh

Eighty children from Christian families left their homes in Bangladesh. Their parents thought they were sending the children to nearby cities to get an education, which is a common practice in Bangladesh. But then they lost contact with their children and began searching for them.

Eleven of the children were rescued from Muslim boarding schools where they were punished if they didn’t say Muslim prayers or read the Quran. (The Quran is the Muslim holy book.) Muslim religious leaders had taken them to the school.

Pray for the children who are still missing and for those who have been returned to their families.

India

India

A pastor and his family in India showed kindness by giving someone a ride in their van. During the drive, they played Christian music and testimonies in the van. Their passenger made phone calls to non-Christians in the village they were approaching. When they got to the village, a mob of more than 300 people attacked their van, breaking out the windows. The mob demanded the audio of the Christian songs and testimonies.

Note to parents and teachers: Visit the “Pray” section at www.persecution.com/pray to find out how to get VOM’s emailed prayer updates. A review of the updates is recommended before sharing them with children.


New Look for Prisoner Alert

Prisoner Alert

Recent posts on this site have talked about kids who visit www.prisoneralert.com to get updates on prisoners around the world. Now the Prisoner Alert website has a new look and new features.

Visit the website to find:

  • Stories of current and released prisoners
  • Instructions for writing prisoners in their own language
  • Sample letters to help you write to government officials in other countries
  • Approximate postage rates for sending letters overseas
  • Additional information about worldwide persecution

Make a plan today to write a prisoner; and ask your class, group, or family to join you in encouraging and praying for bold believers in prison for their faith.


No More Hate

Muslim youth in Indonesia
Muslim youth in Indonesia

The Voice of the Martyrs received the following testimony from a man in Indonesia.

My name is Kusno. I had been taught to hate Christians since I was a child. When I grew up and had sons, I sent them to a Muslim school.

One day something happened in our village. The villagers destroyed a house, and the family that lived in the house fled to another town. They were forbidden to come back because they had become Christians. I agreed with this decision.

Son Becomes a Christian

Later we moved to a different town. We lived near my wife’s brother, Didi. He and his family are followers of Jesus. I warned my sons not to make friends with their family. I watched my sons carefully when they talked to them.

But my older son, Heri, became close to Didi’s family. When Heri was 17, he became a Christian and was baptized. I was mad at myself for being so careless to let that happen. I had spent a lot of money for him to go to a Muslim school.

I noticed that Heri had changed. He became obedient, stopped rebelling, and talked less. I wondered what had happened to him.

New Thoughts About Christians

One day there was a free medical clinic in our village. I went there to check my health. I was surprised that the event was held by Christians. I had heard about the pastor from my son, and I wanted to meet him. I hated him before we finally met. After we talked, I started to think about Christians who care about others and help us.

My second boy, Edi, is 10 years old. He came home one day with a school bag and some snacks. I smelled the snacks. “This smells like Christian food,” I said. I rebuked him for accepting it. There was still hatred in my mind.

He Lived Among Us

That night I looked through Edi’s school bag and found some books. I read the book He Lived Among Us. It was midnight before I finished it completely. The next day, I read it again. It told how Jesus sacrificed himself. Many of his teachings were about love, and he did many miracles. It was the opposite of what my Muslim teachers had told me.

Didi’s family members have peace and love others, just like what I read from He Lived Among Us. Because of this book, I made the decision to follow Jesus. His teaching is so good and gives us hope. I’m looking forward to getting baptized. I’m eager to join the big family of the heavenly kingdom.

Source: VOM contacts, edited from the original source for clarity

Note: The Voice of the Martyrs distributes children’s Bible storybooks, called He Lived Among Us in many restricted nations.


God’s Prisoner: The Story of Richard Wurmbrand

Richard and Sabina sat in a concert hall filled with pastors, priests, and bishops. One by one, they stood up and praised not God, but a government leader who hated the church.

Sabina leaned over and whispered, “Richard, so many pastors are afraid to stand up for God.”

“If I take a stand, I may be arrested,” said Richard.

“This is not the time to be afraid,” replied Sabina.

Richard stood up and walked to the stage. “How can we obey a government that closes our churches and won’t let us own a Bible? We must defend our God!”

The crowd stood up. Some shook their fists and yelled at Richard. Others cheered his courage to stand up for Christ. Richard knew that the police could arrest him any day.

The excerpt above is from the children’s book God’s Prisoner: The Story of Richard Wurmbrand (hardcover, 42 pages, color illustrations, available at www.vombooks.com.

Note: Pastor Wurmbrand was arrested, and he spent a total of 14 years in Romanian prisons before leaving the country and starting the ministry which later became The Voice of the Martyrs.