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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.

Pray:
*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 free 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.)


The Adoniram and Ann Judson Story

Elise

Elise Wixtrom travels with her family to help bring their music ministry to people who attend The Voice of the Martyrs’ Advance conferences. You can read more about Elise here.

Elise has grown up learning about persecuted Christians and reading VOM resources. She recently wrote a review of the Torchlighters DVD, The Adoniram and Ann Judson Story.

You can read her review and watch a trailer for the DVD below.

Adoniram and Anne Judson, missionaries to Burma (Myanmar), led very interesting lives. Even though many people told them they couldn’t go to such an unreached and dangerous country, the couple was successful in ministering to the native people of that land. The Torchlighters animated special about their life is equally fascinating.

The missionaries Judson have a calling in Burma, and that is to translate the Bible using the only known English-to-Burmese dictionary. However, along the way, they find much opposition to the message of the Gospel. The local Buddhist priests, especially, are afraid of what the missionaries will do.

Eventually, Adoniram is sent to prison under suspicion of spying for the British, who are enemies of Burma. As the prisoners and their guards, along with Anne Judson and their child, flee the British army, Adoniram loses the Bible translation – however, a recent convert and friend of the missionaries finds the sole copy of the Burmese Bible, wrapped in a pillowcase.

After Adoniram and Anne are released, they continue to translate and grow the Burmese church, even after the deaths of Anne and their child. This is a beautiful story, an example of dedicated missionaries to a lost world. I highly recommend the Torchlighters version of the story of Anne and Adoniram Judson; it is well-written and entertaining.

Find additional resources that include stories about the Judsons and Burma here, here, and here.


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.