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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

Syria

Syria

Syria

RESTRICTED

Capital
Damascus

Size
Slightly larger than North Dakota.

Main Languages
Arabic

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

History
The capital city of Syria is the biblical city of Damascus. Syria became independent from France in 1946. In 2011, some Syrians held public protests against the leaders of the country.Government soldiers fought to stop the protests. More people joined in the fighting, some for the government and some for the protestors. The fight turned into a war.

Religion
Mostly Muslim.

Persecution
It is against the law for a Muslim to become a Christian.Christians are targets of the radical Muslims. Christian villages have been overrun, churches destroyed, and believers abused or driven out.


Countries Story

Tajikistan

Tajikistan

Tajikistan

RESTRICTED

Capital
Dushanbe

Size
Slightly smaller than Wisconsin.

Main Languages
Tajik, Russian

Time
At 6:00 a.m. U.S. Central Standard Time, it is 4:00 p.m. in Tajikistan.

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. Tajikistan was one of those countries. After independence, different groups fought a civil war to try to get control of the country. Droughts, natural disasters, and war have made the people very poor.

 

Religion
Mostly Muslim.

Persecution
Although most people in Tajikistan are Muslims, the government is afraid of Muslim terrorists. So officials try to control all religions to make sure no violent groups gain power. It is against the law for children under 18 to participate in worship services at public places of worship. The government sometimes takes Christians to police stations to question them and find out more about their Christian activities. Muslims who become Christians are sometimes treated badly by officials and their families.


Countries Story

Tibet

Tibet

Tibet

RESTRICTED

Capital
Lhasa

Main Languages
Tibetan

Time
At 6:00 a.m. U.S. Central Standard Time, it is 7:00 p.m. in Tibet.

History
Communist China took over Tibet in 1950. The communist government wanted people to look to the government for answers, not religion. Most Tibetans are Buddhists. When China took control, the leader of the Buddhists, the Dalai Lama, fled the country with thousands of his followers.

Religion
Mostly Buddhist.

Persecution
Translators have translated the Bible into the Tibetan language, but many Tibetans cannot read it because they do not know how to read. The Chinese government tries to control the practice of Buddhism and Christianity in China. Tibetan Christians worship in secret. Most of the persecution of Christians comes from Buddhists who want to increase the strength of Buddhism.


Countries Story

Tunisia

Tunisia

Tunisia

RESTRICTED

Capital
Tunis

Size
Slightly larger than Georgia.

Main Languages
Arabic, French

Time
At 6:00 a.m. U.S. Central Standard Time, it is 12:00 p.m. in Tunisia.

History
Tunisia was the home of the ancient city Carthage, a center for learning and trade. Many countries wanted to take over Tunisia because of its fertile soil and good coastline for shipping and trade. The country became independent from France in 1956.

 

Religion
Mostly Muslim.

Persecution
It is legal for Muslims to become Christians. But if they do decide to follow Jesus, they are not treated well by other Muslims.


Countries Story

Turkey

Turkey

Turkey

HOSTILE

Capital
Ankara

Size
Turkey’s population is growing. About 44 million people lived in Turkey in 1980. Today more than 75 million live there.

Main Languages
Turkish, Kurdish

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

Interesting Fact
Some people in Istanbul go shopping by lowering a basket on a rope from their window. They put money in the basket to pay for food, and food sellers on the street below put food in the basket. When the sale is complete, the customer pulls the basket back up.

 

History
Some of the most important events in the Bible happened in the area that is now Turkey. Noah’s family settled there after the Flood. Abraham and Jacob lived there. Two-thirds of the New Testament was written to or from places in Turkey, and the Apostle Paul started many churches there. The cities of the seven churches in the Book of Revelation are in Turkey.

Many centuries ago, Muslims took control of Turkey and the country has been mostly Muslim since then.

Religion
More than 97 percent of the people in Turkey are Muslim. Only about 1 percent are Christian.

Persecution
Turkey’s laws allow “freedom of religion.” Some Muslims would like to take over the government and make Islam the official religion. Christians have received threatening voice mail messages or letters from radical Muslims. Muslims who become Christians are often persecuted by families, friends, and bosses. Christian missionaries have been attacked.

Citizens carry ID cards that may show their religion. Those whose cards show that they are not Muslims are sometimes treated unfairly.


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