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Bold Believers in Syria

Bold Believers in Syria includes stories, history and culture facts, activities, and recipes that help children understand the daily lives of people in a country where civil war has driven more than 750,000 Christians from the country. The 48-page book is available free from the Downloads section of this site.

Spotlight Story

Ethiopia: After the Attack

In some parts of Ethiopia, Muslims hold their nose when a Christian passes by. Even a Muslim police officer in one town called Christianity a “stinky religion.”

But, praise God, Christianity is spreading in some Muslim towns in Ethiopia! In recent years, angry Muslims in these areas have attacked Christians to try to keep the good news of Jesus from reaching more people. More than 200 homes and churches, and a Christian school, have been attacked. The Christians’ possessions, crops, and animals were destroyed.

“The most amazing part of the story is what happened because of these attacks,” said a worker from The Voice of the Martyrs who visited one of the towns where Christians’ homes were ruined. “Church members gathered around every house that was being rebuilt and sang songs of praise to the Lord.”

The worker continued, “They purposely painted all the rebuilt houses bright pink. One church leader said they painted them pink so ‘we would serve as a light in the community and a testament to the power of the Lord.’”

Muslims who saw the attitude of the Christians began to approach the Christians to ask how they could become followers of Christ! Churches in the area grew. At one church, there is now standing room only on Sunday mornings, and many more people listen from outside the building. Before the attack, the church had about 300 members. Now it has 600.

“The Muslims thought we were weak,” said one Christian. “But now they see that we are strong and have a great God.”

“We see that God has done great things for us,” said another Christian. “Before, we might have been afraid to tell others about Jesus, but now we are not afraid to share. We run with the gospel.”

To Talk About
*How would you react if someone said you follow “a stinky religion?”

*Why did the Christians paint their houses bright pink?

*Why did some of the Muslims ask how they could become followers of Christ?

*Think of a situation where your response or attitude could lead someone to want to know more about following Jesus.

Activities Story

Remember the Persecuted

1/4–inch thick foam board
Mod Podge (decoupage medium)
Box cutter
Hexagon pattern cut from card stock, approximately seven inches from top to bottom
Photos from VOM publications, websites, or outdated prayer calendars
Help from an adult

What to Do
1. Trace the hexagon pattern onto foam board.
2. Ask an adult to cut out the hexagon with a box cutter on a protected surface.
3. With the hexagon pattern, trace around a photo of a Christian from a VOM publication, website, or calendar. Cut out the photo.
4. Apply a layer of Mod Podge to the foam board. Place the photo on top of it. Carefully rub the photo to remove any bubbles.
5. Let it dry. Apply one or two more coats of Mod Podge on the photo.
6. Display by itself or with other reminders on a wall at home or in your Sunday school classroom. Pray for the Christians in the photos.

Spotlight Story

9/11 and Terrorists

On September 11, 2001, terrorists attacked two locations in the United States. The 19 terrorists hijacked four planes full of passengers and crashed two of them into New York’s World Trade Center on purpose. (The NASA photo above shows the smoke plume rising from the attack on the World Trade Center.) Many died when the World Trade Center buildings collapsed.

The terrorists crashed a third plane into the Pentagon, which is the headquarters of the U.S. military in Washington, D.C. A fourth hijacked plane crashed in a Pennsylvania field after passengers tried to stop the hijackers.

The terrorists believed they were following the teachings of strict Islam. Find a chart that compares terrorists’ beliefs with Christian responses here.

Find another chart about terrorist beliefs here.

[Additional charts comparing Christian truths with other worldviews are in the Beliefs section of this site.]

To Think About: The terrorists believed they were following the teachings of strict Islam. Terrorists try to make changes in the world by using violence and threats. But Mark 8:36 says, “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?” What mistake are terrorists making when they use violence against innocent people to try to bring about change?

Note: Pastor Richard Wurmbrand, the founder of The Voice of the Martyrs, said that having bad feelings about Muslims “is wrong and a danger to our souls.” He said when radical Muslims hurt Christians, “they will not succeed in making us hate them.” Their persecution will just make us want to do more to bring them the Christian message. If they understand what Jesus taught, they will no longer want to persecute others.

Do you agree with what Pastor Wurmbrand said about Christians’ attitudes toward Muslims?

Spotlight Story

Sudan: Pastor Morris

Pastor Morris

Recently, Todd Nettleton of interviewed Brad Phillips, a Christian worker in Sudan. Brad ministers among the people of the Nuba Mountains where Christians and others are often bombed and attacked by enemies. Many ministries have left the dangerous region, but The Voice of the Martyrs is still there, providing health care and encouragement to the people.

Brad told the following story about Pastor Morris, a Christian leader in the area.

Morris, as a Christian leader, has a lot of people who love him, and he has a lot of people who are jealous of him and hate him. He had a lot of problems with one of his neighbors, who is a Muslim.

Morris has seven children. One day he came home and found out that his 18-year-old daughter had been attacked by the neighbor’s son. She was bleeding and bruised.

The neighbor and his son were taken to court and found guilty of assault. Nobody has any money there, but the judge ordered the neighbor to pay a fine. The fine would be about $20 in U.S. money, but to those people, it might as well have been $20,000. If he didn’t pay, he would go to jail until somehow the fine was paid, which might be a long time.

Morris did not delight in the judgement against his neighbor. [See Proverbs 24:17.] Instead, he saw an opportunity to spread the gospel. He talked to his daughter and said, “We have this opportunity to demonstrate the love of Christ. I can pay that fine if you will let me.” His daughter agreed, and they paid the fine.
(Source: Edited for length and clarity.)


Spotlight Story

Sudan: Morris Goes to Jail

Pastor Morris

Morris is a pastor in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan, where the government of Sudan has dropped thousands of bombs since 2012.

One morning after an attack, Pastor Morris packed some soap, food, shoes, and clothes. He was going to jail. But he had not done anything wrong.

He planned to visit Muslim prisoners of war. The Muslims had been caught after they attacked Pastor Morris’s friends and neighbors. They were the enemy.

Pastor Morris’s son did not understand his father’s actions. “Are not these the people who are bombing us from airplanes and killing our people?” his son asked him as he packed. “Why are you taking them food to help them survive when they are killing us?”

Pastor Morris answered, “My son, this is because Jesus says we have to love our enemies.” The hearts of some of the Muslim prisoners are starting to change. The prisoners ask Pastor Morris, “Pastor, could you come again and share what you are sharing with us? We have never heard about these things before.” Pastor Morris is willing to help them find the truth.

Pray for Pastor Morris and the Muslims he meets. Pray that his son will also understand Jesus’ command to “love your enemies.”