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“America Has Freedom”

McDonald's
A McDonalds in Beijing

A worker from The Voice of the Martyrs recently visited and encouraged Christians in China. He talked to Amy, a Chinese Christian girl whose aunt has been in prison because of her Christian activities.

The VOM worker asked Amy about her aunt’s time in prison and about her life in China. Read his questions and her answers below.

Q: What did you think when your aunt went to prison?
A: I was sad.
Q: Did you visit her?
A: Yes.
Q: What was the prison like?
A: It was big. It was not beautiful.
Q: How long were you allowed to talk to your aunt?
A: Five minutes.
Q: What did you tell her?
A: “Stay in good health.”
Q: Did you give her anything?
A: No, there was a window [between us]. There was a phone [to talk to her].
Q: Did you tell your friends she went to prison?
A: No, they don’t know that. It’s a very bad thing [in China to be in prison].
Q: Do your classmates know you are a Christian?
A: Most of them do. My deskmate is a Christian.
Q: Do your teachers know you are a Christian?
A: No.
Q: Does the government think Christians are bad?
A: Yes….I want to go to America. If I go to America, I will not come back to China.
Q: Why not?
A: Because America has freedom….I love China, but I love America a lot.
Q: Do you like to eat American food?
A: No, it is not delicious.
Q: What about pizza?
A: No, it is too sweet.
Q: How about hamburgers?
A: I love hamburgers!

(To protect their identities, the names of some of the people on this website and some identifying details have been changed. Some of the quotes and stories have been edited and paraphrased from the original sources for clarity.)


Eric Liddell: Surrendered to God

Eric Liddell was a superhero athlete in Scotland. His nickname was “the flying Scotsman” because he ran so fast. When he earned the right to compete in the Olympics as a runner in the 100 meter race, the people in his country were proud and excited.

But Eric decided not to run the race, because it would require him to run on Sunday. As a Christian, Eric believed God did not want him to run on Sunday.

What do you think might happen if an American football superstar refused to play in the Super Bowl because the game is held on a Sunday? Do you think the fans would be angry?

Some people in Scotland were angry with Eric. He was called a disgrace, a traitor, and a “letdown to his own people.”

Eric did win a gold medal in the 400 meter race at the Olympics. He later served as a missionary teacher in China during a time of war. He faced serious difficulties, but continued to surrender to what he believed God was calling him to do. Many people were encouraged to surrender their own lives to God through his example.

The Torchlighters: The Eric Liddell Story is produced by Christian History Institute and The Voice of the Martyrs. It is available for purchase here.


Helping Christian Youth in Muslim Countries

Youth

Problem
Joseph, a Christian from a Muslim country, told The Voice of the Martyrs about some of the problems Christian youth face in his country and other Muslim countries.

“The Christian young people are looking for someone to follow,” Joseph said.

But the youth and children may not have people who can help them fully understand their faith. And, when Muslims ask them questions about Christianity, they don’t always know how to answer. With no one to guide them, they may become weaker in their faith instead of stronger.

In addition, “In some places, young people have to spend too much time inside their homes because of unrest in their countries,” Joseph reported.

Solution
Can you think of ways to help solve the problems faced by Christian youth in countries where there is unrest? VOM helps by broadcasting a Christian Internet radio program that reaches youth in some Muslim countries. “Many listeners spend hours listening,” said Joseph. “Thousands of young people have developed a friendship with the radio station.”

VOM also helps provide a Christian newspaper written in Arabic. “Christians are using the articles to build their faith,” said Joseph. “It enables them to answer Muslims’ questions which they face in everyday life.”

To Think About
Christian youth in countries where most of the people are Christians may not have the problems faced by Christian youth in Muslim countries. But they still can grow weaker in the faith instead of stronger. What are some things that can prevent youth from growing in their faith? What can Christian kids do to help make their faith stronger?

(To protect their identities, the names of some of the people on this website and some identifying details have been changed. Some of the quotes and stories have been edited and paraphrased from the original sources for clarity.)


The Religion of the Pharaohs and Egypt Coloring Pages

Ancient Egyptians did not worship the one true God. Read about their beliefs in the chart below. Photocopy and color the Egypt coloring pages shown below the chart.

Ancient Egyptian Religion
Christianity
God Historians believe ancient Egyptians worshipped many gods, though not all were worshipped in the same area or time period. One ancient king is said to have worshipped only one god, but it was not the God of the Bible. Christians believe in one God (Deuteronomy 6:4).
Followers The ancient religion died out little by little as Christianity spread in Egypt. In recent times, some non-Christians outside of Egypt have taken an interest in Egyptian gods. (These gods are false gods according to biblical beliefs.) Some New Age followers in the U.S., for example, now honor Isis, an Egyptian goddess. More than 2 billion people in the world today call themselves Christians.
Holy Book No single book was considered holy. The Egyptian Book of the Dead was a collection of spells and magic that supposedly helped the dead deal with the afterlife. Christians believe the Holy Bible is the word of God (2 Timothy 3:16).
Afterlife Many archaeologists believe rulers had the pyramids built to serve as their tombs. They believed they could enjoy material possessions after death. Their bodies were preserved as mummies because they believed preserving them would help their soul survive properly. In heaven believers enjoy unbroken fellowship with God for eternity. (See Romans 6:23, 2 Corinthians 5:8, and 1 Thessalonians 5:10.)
Salvation Egyptians believed they would be judged after their death for their deeds done on earth. One belief was that the dead person’s heart would be weighed with a feather on the other side of the scale. If the heart was heavy with evil deeds and weighed more than the feather, the person would not have a good afterlife. Doing good deeds is not enough for salvation. (See Ephesians 2:8,9.) Salvation is by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ.

Egypt


Egypt Lesson Plan: Continuing to Do Good

Objectives
Children will be reminded that followers of Jesus continue to do good even when they don’t seem to be rewarded right away.

Introduction (Secret Rules)
Explain: In other countries, manners and customs may be different from ours. For example, people in some countries shake hands when they greet, but they may bow in other countries. Some sleep and eat on the floor, and others use chairs and beds. But these rules are not posted on signs like traffic rules. We don’t have signs that say, “Please shake hands when you greet someone. (If desired, discuss other unwritten customs and rules, or make signs with unwritten rules on them.) Missionaries to other countries may have difficulty learning the unwritten rules of people around them.

Instructions: Divide students into two groups. Have the groups meet separately where they can’t hear each other while discussing their strategy. Ask each group to make up a very simple secret rule to use while listening to the Bible story. It must be a rule that can be followed silently and not disrupt the story. (Examples you may want to share with the groups separately if they can’t think of a rule: Everyone must sit with their right foot crossed over their left. Or girls must look down while boys can raise their eyes and look at the teacher.)

Let the groups follow their rule during the reading of the Verse to Remember and the story. Tell them they can guess the other team’s rule during discussion time after the story.

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