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Uzbekistan: Child Questioned by Police

Uzbek boy

 Fact: Uzbekistan is a doubly landlocked country. A country is landlocked if it is not next to a sea or ocean. Doubly landlocked countries are landlocked countries surrounded by other landlocked countries. (The Caspian and Aral Seas in the region are actually big lakes.)

Fact: Some Christians in Uzbekistan don’t want a Bible because it is risky to own one. Even if they are caught with a digital Bible on their smartphone, they can get in trouble with the police.

Even kids in Uzbekistan may have a hard time because of their faith. Earlier this year, the police shut a Christian mother and her children in their bathroom while they searched their house. The kids’ dad was not at home. When they left, the police took the family’s Bible and computer with them.

Two days later, officials took the family’s 8-year-old son out of school and questioned him. They let him go home, but then called him and his mother back again. They threatened the family with fines and jail time if the boy’s father continued to attend church. Officials in Uzbekistan pressure people of all faiths to keep their children away from meetings for worship.

(Source: Forum 18 News Service)

What Would You Say
What would you say if someone questioned you about your faith in Christ? Let someone act as a questioner, and role play answering the questions below.
*Are you a Christian? What does it mean to be a Christian? What rules do you have to follow?
*What does Jesus mean to you?
*What does the Bible teach?
*How does someone become a Christian? How did you become a Christian?

Myanmar: Orphans Captured

VOM gives gifts to children in Myanmar

A Christian worker’s family in Myanmar (Burma) cares for several orphans in their home. The orphans are learning how to share the love of Jesus with those around them. They visited 18 villages and a festival, passing out gospel pamphlets to the villagers.

The majority of the people in Burma are Buddhists. Some Buddhist monks were opposed to the orphans’ Christian activities at the festival. They tried to shave the orphans’ hair off so they would have shaved heads like the monks.

Young Buddhist monks

The orphans ran away from the monks and ran to the Christian family’s home. But the monks sent villagers and others after the orphans, and four of them were captured. Two of the orphans were able to escape, but two were not. They may be captives in a Buddhist monastery.

*that the orphans will be safe
*that they will grow in their faith and lead others to Christ
*for Christians in Myanmar who are caring for orphans

Watch a video clip of children in Myanmar singing a Sunday school song here.
Learn more about Christians in Myanmar in the book Bold Believers in Burma, available in the free Downloads section.

Egypt: Rana

Egyptian girls

Eight-year-old Rana was very sad when her father died. But she and her mother, Muna, could take comfort in knowing that he was in heaven with Jesus.

Rana’s parents, like most people in Egypt, were Muslims. After they learned the truth about Jesus, they decided to follow Him. But they kept their faith a secret. Sometimes Muslims in Egypt who become Christians are persecuted for their faith.

After Rana’s father died, her grandparents insisted that Muna get married again. They gave her a choice between two Muslim men. Muna did not know what to do. She and Rana lived with Rana’s grandparents, so it would have been hard to go against their wishes.

Then one day, Muna was watching a Christian TV program. A Christian speaker on the program said that marriage is a holy covenant with God. They told about the verse in 2 Corinthians 6 that says Christians should not be “yoked together” with unbelievers.

The words gave Muna courage to tell her parents that she would not marry either of the men they chose, and to move out of their house with Rana. She would not marry a Muslim man, and Rana would not have a Muslim stepfather.

Pray for Rana, Muna, and other secret Christians, and pray that Christian TV programs will reach more who need to hear Christian truths.

To learn more about Christians in Egypt, read Bold Believers in Egypt, available in the Downloads section.

(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, length, and age appropriateness.)

Bangladesh: “Alone in this Community”

Children in Bangladesh

“Please pray for my children and for my son’s education,” a Christian mother in Bangladesh recently told VOM workers.

“My son is 5 ½ years old,” said the boy’s father. “He goes to school. The teacher gave him one religion book — an Islamic book. [Islam is the religion of Muslims.]

“We said, ‘No, he doesn’t need an Islamic book [for religion class]. He needs a Christian book.’ But the teacher said, ‘No. This is not a Christian school. If he doesn’t read his book, his exam marks will be low and failing.’”

“The other students criticize him,” the boy’s mother continued. “They speak hateful words to him. I told him, ‘Please don’t say any angry words to them. We know God, and we love them.’ I don’t want to give my son any hatred. We must love [Muslims] and make friends with them.

“For many community functions, ceremonies, weddings — no one calls and invites us. We are like alone in this community.”

(Source: VOM contacts. Edited for length and clarity.)

To Think About
*Do you think the mother gave the boy good advice when she told him not be angry with the children who treat him badly?
*What do you think the boy should do when he is given an Islamic book to study at school?
*Are there any people who might feel alone in your community?
*Learn more about Christians in Bangladesh from the book Bold Believers in Bangladesh available in the Downloads section.

Matthew 9:37-38

Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”

I think it is hard for American Christians to understand that there are places in the world where you can live your entire life, you can live to be 80 years old, and never even one time hear the name of Jesus, never even one time meet a Christian person. We can’t even imagine that, yet only 2 percent of missionaries are going to those places where they are needed the most — A VOM worker

Parents and teachers: To learn what VOM is doing to help Christians spread the gospel in difficult areas, subscribe to the free monthly The Voice of the Martyrs magazine, at the subscription signup page.