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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

Colombia

Colombia

Colombia

HOSTILE

Capital
Bogota

Size
In area, Colombia is bigger than Texas and smaller than Alaska. Colombia’s population is about 45 million.

Main Languages
Spanish

Time
At 6 a.m. U.S. Central Standard Time, it is 7 a.m. in Bogota.

Interesting Fact
On Sunday mornings, more than a million people in Bogota ride bikes, skate, hike, and take exercise classes. More than 70 miles of main streets are closed to cars and turned into a system of bike paths called “Ciclovia.” 

History
Colombia became an independent country in 1819. Before that, it was ruled by Spain. In recent decades, violent anti-government groups have been fighting against the government. They do not have enough power to take over the government. But they still cause a lot of sorrow and trouble with their illegal activities and violence in parts of the country.

Religion
About 80 percent of Colombians are Catholic, and about 15 percent are Protestant.

Persecution
In recent years, violent groups have been fighting against the government. The groups persecute Christians. They know that Christians do not approve of their violence, drug selling, and kidnapping. Some groups attack and threaten Christians and sometimes drive them from their homes. Bold Christians sometimes share the gospel of Jesus with people in the groups.


Countries Story

Comoros

Comoros

Comoros

RESTRICTED

Capital
Moroni

Size
Slightly more than 12 times the size of Washington, DC.

Main Languages
Arabic and French

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

History
Before Comoros became an independent country in 1975, it was ruled by France. Since then, there have been many struggles by different people to take over the government.

 

Religion
Mostly Muslim.

Persecution
The government does not allow anyone to teach Muslims about a different religion. Children ages 3 to 6 years old attend schools to learn to read and recite the Quran. (The Quran is the Muslim holy book.) In some places, Christians do not have the same rights and freedoms as Muslims.


Countries Story

Cuba

Cuba

Cuba

RESTRICTED

Capital
The capital of Cuba is Havana

Size
In area, a little larger than Tennessee.

Main Languages
Spanish

Time
Cuba is in the same time zone as Florida.

Interesting Fact
Cuba is only 90 miles from the U.S. Name a place that is about 100 miles from your house. Cuba is closer to the U.S. than that!

 

History
Cuba became independent from Spain in 1902. Fidel Castro took over the government in 1959 and put a communist government in place. Castro died in 2016.

Religion
About half the people in Cuba consider themselves to be Christian.

Persecution
In the 1960s, President Fidel Castro called Christians “social scum.” He strictly controlled Christian activity and persecuted Christians. In recent years, Christians have sometimes enjoyed more freedom. But the communist government is still in control of the people’s everyday lives. They can grant freedoms when they want to, and take them away when they want to. Freedom of religion is still not a reality, and persecution still happens.


Countries Story

Egypt

Egypt

Egypt

RESTRICTED

Capital
Cairo

Size
In area, Egypt is larger than Texas and smaller than Alaska.

Main Languages
Arabic, English, French

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

Interesting Fact
Falafel is a food made of mashed chickpeas or beans shaped into patties. McDonald’s restaurants in Egypt serve falafel in a sandwich. They call it the McFalafel. 

History
Egypt had a strong civilization even in the time of the Old Testament. After Christ, it became a mostly Christian country. Arabs arrived in the seventh century, bringing the Arabic language and the Muslim religion with them.

Religion
Today more than 85 percent of the people in Egypt are Muslim.

Persecution
Christianity is allowed, but Christians do not always have an easy time practicing their faith. They are often treated unfairly by teachers, police officers, and bosses. Muslims sometimes object to having churches built in their communities.

By law, Christian men may not marry Muslim women. Sometimes Christian  men, women, and children are kidnapped by radical Muslims. Muslims who leave Islam to follow Christ suffer serious persecution.


Countries Story

Eritrea

Eritrea

Eritrea

RESTRICTED

Capital
Asmara

Size
Eritrea’s population is about 4.5 million, making it smaller than 24 of the 50 U.S. states.

Main Languages
Tigrinya, Arabic

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

Interesting Fact
Eritrean children take the first name of their father as their last name. (What would your name be if your family followed this custom?)

History
Eritrea used to be part of Ethiopia. After a 30-year war for independence, Eritrea became a separate country in 1993. Ethiopia and Eritrea began fighting again in 1998. That war lasted about three years.

Religion
In 2002, the leaders of Eritrea closed all churches that were not registered with the government. Only Catholic, Lutheran, and Orthodox Christian churches were allowed to register. Muslims are also allowed to practice their faith.

Persecution
In recent years, hundreds of Christians from unregistered churches in Eritrea have been arrested. Christians have been arrested during prayer meetings, at weddings, off the street, and even during family devotions in their homes. Men, women, youth, and young children have been arrested.


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