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A Very Sad Story

Laos

Persecution of Christians in Laos is continuing.

  • A pastor was arrested for leading people to Jesus.
  • After a teenage girl became a Christian, her parents threatened to sell her as a slave. The girl ran away from home.
  • Christians from another country were stopped by the police after they shared the gospel with people in Laos.
  • Christian families are sometimes kicked out of their homes and villages and not allowed to come back.

Recently Christians who already face persecution suffered still another burden. Six children from Christian families found something in the jungle and began playing with it. The device was a bomb from a war many years ago.

The bomb exploded and hurt all the children. Five were taken to a hospital, but sadly, one of the children died. God cares about the children, and he knows that their families are sad. Pray for health and strength for all the Christians in Laos.

First Peter 5:7–11 says, [Cast] all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.


Ask a VOM Worker: VOM’s Mission

VOM

Question: Is The Voice of the Martyrs’ goal to end the persecution of Christians?

A VOM worker’s answer: There is always a price to follow Jesus; it costs. The activity of spreading the gospel always has a cost.

The Bible tells us to “take up your cross daily” (Luke 9:23) and “count the cost” (Luke 14:28). The Bible requires that we be faithful witnesses under the leadership of Christ. We are his “personal property.” It’s up to him what happens after that.

There is always a price for being a faithful witness in a fallen world. The Voice of the Martyrs is not trying to end persecution. Evangelism causes persecution; we are aiding evangelism.

Christ is worth it — no question. It’s a good price even if I pay everything.

(Edited from the original source.)


Learn About Sikhism

A Sikh temple
A Sikh temple

Some adults in India are upset because too many boys are getting haircuts! Sikhs follow the religion of Sikhism. Many Sikhs live in Punjab, a state in India.

Traditionally, Sikh men and boys wear turbans and do not get their haircut. But some youth are rebelling against these traditions.

Another Sikh Tradition
Sikhs celebrate special occasions by reading their holy book, called “Guru Granth.” Each member of a reading team takes a turn reading for one to four hours until the book is finished. A complete reading takes about 48 hours. Try reading a book or books from the New Testament for 15 minutes, taking turns with several other people.

A Sikh Celebration
Sikhs celebrate the birthday of Guru Nanak, the man who started Sikhism around the time Columbus traveled to America. In 2013, the celebration will occur on November 17.

Pray that Sikhs will learn about God’s love for them.

Learn more about Sikhs from the chart below. Find a coloring page of Sikh symbols in the “Coloring Pages” booklet under “Other” in the Downloads section.

Comparing Sikh and Christian Beliefs

Sikhism
Christianity
Founder
Guru Nanak, a man born in the 15th century Jesus Christ
House of Worship
Gurdwara Church
Holy book
Guru Granth The Holy Bible
Symbol
A Sikh man wears five symbols of his faith: long hair, short pants worn under other clothing, a steel bracelet, a small sword, and a comb. The cross is a Christian symbol. It symbolizes Christ’s death on the cross, a sacrifice for the sins of mankind.
Beliefs about God
Sikhs believe in one god that is seen as more of a “force” than a person. They believe their god is not personal and does not love them. Sikhs believe that all religions really teach the same thing and that there are many ways of reaching their god. Christians believe in the God of the Bible. God is a loving heavenly Father, and humans can have a relationship with Him. Christians do not believe that all religions are means to reaching God (John 14:6). Christians believe that it is only through Jesus Christ that we can know God.

Ashura

Learning about Islam

Ashura is a Muslim holiday. This year, Ashura will be celebrated on November 14th.

Islam, the religion of Muslims, has two main branches. Most Muslims around the world are Sunnis [SOON-eez]. Others are Shi’ites [SHEE-ites]. In some countries, violence breaks out during Ashura between Sunnis and Shi’ites.

During Ashura, Shi’ites remember Muslim heroes who died. Some honor a hero named Hussein by hitting themselves on the back with whips. Muslim leaders have tried to discourage people from hurting themselves during Ashura, but some still follow the tradition. Others use pretend whips. Many Muslims believe that the celebration of Ashura offers forgiveness for sins.

To Think About
First Peter 2:24 (NIV) says, “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.” How does that verse say Christians’ sins are forgiven? By whose wounds are we healed?

To learn more about Sunnis and Shi-ites, read this chart comparing the two branches of Islam. Check the “Beliefs” section of this site for more comparison charts.

To learn more about Islam, read Learning About Islam, available for free download in the Downloads section.


Bibles Delivered to Uganda

The Voice of the Martyrs recently sent Bibles to western Uganda, where they were delivered by a VOM contact.

Watch the clip to see someone else who happily received one of the Bibles.