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Bold Believers in Syria

Bold Believers in Syria includes stories, history and culture facts, activities, crafts, and recipes that help children understand the daily lives of their Christian brothers and sisters who face Islamic extremism. The 48-page book is available free from the Downloads section of this site.

Bold Believers in Syria provides age-appropriate companion material for VOM’s I Am N information and resources. (See i-am-n.com.)

Countries Story

Iran

Iran

Iran

RESTRICTED

Capital
Tehran

Size
In area, Iran is a little smaller than Alaska.

Main Languages
Farsi (Persian)

Time
At 6 a.m. U.S. Central Standard Time, it is 3 p.m. in Tehran.

Interesting Fact
Iran used to be called Persia. The body of water between Iran and Saudi Arabia is commonly known as the Persian Gulf. But most Arab countries call it the Arabian Gulf. In 2010, Iran threatened to ban or seize airplanes of any airline that called it the Arabian Gulf if their planes flew over Iran.

History
Iran used to be ruled by royalty, and the ruler was called the “shah.” In 1979, the shah was overthrown. Since then, Iran has been ruled by Muslim law. The U.S. and Iran have not had good relations in recent years. In 1979, radical Muslims captured the U.S. Embassy in Iran and held the Americans in the embassy hostage for a little more than a year.

Religion
About 99 percent of the people in Iran are Muslims.

Persecution
It is against the law to openly witness about Jesus to Muslims. Thousands are learning the Good News from satellite TV, the Internet, and Christians who witness secretly to them. Government spies watch Christians, and pastors and other Christians risk being arrested.


Countries Story

Iraq

Iraq

Iraq

RESTRICTED

Capital
Baghdad

Size
In area, Iraq is a little bigger than California.

Main Languages
Farsi (Persian)

Time

At 6:00 a.m. U.S. Central Standard Time, it is 3:00 p.m. in Baghdad.

Interesting Fact
The place where God delivered Daniel from the lion’s den was in the area where Iraq is located today. (The story is in Chapter 6 of the Book of Daniel in the Bible.)

 

History
Saddam Hussein became the president of Iraq in 1979. When he ruled, Christians were free to go to church, but they were not free to teach others about Jesus outside of their churches. Some Christians met outside the church buildings in house churches.

The U.S. government believed that Hussein was a danger to his own citizens and to other countries. Soldiers from the United States and other countries forced Hussein from power in 2003. Radical Muslims in some places began to try to take control.

Religion
More than 95% of the people of Iraq are Muslim. Less than 5% are Christians.

Persecution
Since 2003, many Christians have fled Iraq because of violence by terrorists and extremists.  Some who stayed behind have been attacked, kidnapped, or killed. Because of their struggles and serious threats, a number of churches have closed their doors. However, some Iraqis have become more open to the gospel.


Countries Story

Jordan

Jordan

Jordan

HOSTILE

Capital
Amman

Size
Slightly smaller than Indiana.

Main Languages
Arabic and English

Time
At 6:00 a.m. U.S. Central Standard Time, it is 2:00 p.m. in Jordan.

History
Jordan was ruled by Britain until 1946. King Hussein was the country’s leader until his death in 1999 when his son King Abdullah II took over.

Religion
Mostly Muslim.

Persecution
Jordan does not allow anyone to encourage Muslims to follow Christ. It is against the law for a Muslim to become a Christian. Muslims who decide to follow Christ report that they lose some of their rights and freedoms. Christians face persecution from their families, bosses, and others.


Countries Story

Kuwait

Kuwait

Kuwait

RESTRICTED

Capital
Kuwait City

Size
Slightly smaller than New Jersey.

Main Languages
Arabic and English

Time
At 6:00 a.m. U.S. Central Standard Time, it is 2:00 p.m. in Ethiopia.

History
Britain helped lead Kuwait until 1961 when the country became fully independent. Kuwait has become rich from oil. Iraq attacked Kuwait in 1990. Soldiers led by U.S. forces freed Kuwait from Iraq’s control in 1991.

 

Religion
Mostly Muslim.

Persecution
Only Muslims can become citizens of Kuwait.  Christians may not share the gospel with Muslims. Some churches are not allowed to have signs or crosses on the outside of their property, and they cannot ring bells outside. It is illegal to possess pork products because Muslims do not eat pork. It is against the law for Muslim women to marry non-Muslim men.


Countries Story

Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan

RESTRICTED

Capital
Bishkek

Size
Slightly smaller than South Dakota.

Main Languages
Kyrgyz and Russian

Time
At 6:00 a.m. U.S. Central Standard Time, it is 5:00 p.m. in Kyrgyzstan.

History
The U.S.S.R. (often called “The Soviet Union”) was the largest communist country in the world. In the early 1990s, it broke up into many smaller countries. Kyrgyzstan was one of those countries. Today most of the people are Muslim, but many do not take their faith very seriously.

 

Religion
Mostly Muslim.

Persecution
Even though many people in Kyrgyzstan are not serious about their Muslim faith, many do not like it when a Muslim becomes a Christian. They believe Islam is part of their culture.

Sometimes Muslims refuse to let Christians bury their dead in local cemeteries. Christians say that sometimes police will not help them when Muslims cause them trouble or harass their church members.


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