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Bold Believers Among China’s Uygurs

Bold Believers Among China’s Uygurs includes stories, history, culture facts, and activities that help children understand the daily lives of the Uygur people, who live mainly in northwest China. The 52-page book is available free from the Downloads section of this site.

Beliefs Story

Comparing Official Churches and Underground Churches

Official/Government-Approved Churches in Countries that Limit Christian Activities
Unregistered/Unofficial Churches
What are they? If the government leaders in some countries do not like a church, the members are not allowed to have worship services. Approved churches are allowed to register with the government. They may participate in activities permitted by the government. In countries where the government tries to control the church, usually fewer than 10% of the Christians attend official churches. Most would rather worship secretly in homes, woods, caves, or other secret places. They want to follow God’s rules instead of the government’s rules.
Where are they? Government-approved churches exist in communist countries and in some Muslim countries. Turkmenistan and Eritrea are examples of other countries that try to limit Christianity. Underground (secret) churches exist in every country where Christian activity is limited by the government.
Who are their leaders? Leaders must be approved by the government. The government tells them what they are allowed to preach and do. Leaders are Christians who believe, “We must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29, NIV).
What are the consequences? The church must follow the government’s rules. The rules might say, “You must not teach children about Jesus.” Or, “You must not preach from certain parts of the Bible.” Governments often do not allow church members to share the gospel outside the church building, or with certain groups of people. Underground church members are often bothered by the police. They risk losing friends and jobs. Their children may be mistreated at school. They may be arrested, put in prison, or even killed. The Book of Revelation describes the eternal rewards of standing firm in Christ.

Beliefs Story

Comparing Christianity and the Religion of the Pharaohs

Ancient Egyptian Religion
Christianity
God Historians believe ancient Egyptians worshipped many gods, though not all were worshipped in the same area or time period. One ancient king is said to have worshipped only one god, but it was not the God of the Bible. Christians believe in one God (Deuteronomy 6:4).
Followers The ancient religion died out little by little as Christianity spread in Egypt. In recent times, some non-Christians outside of Egypt have taken an interest in Egyptian gods. (These gods are false gods according to biblical beliefs.) Some New Age followers in the U.S., for example, now pray to Isis, an Egyptian goddess. More than 2 billion people in the world today call themselves Christians.
Holy Books No single book was considered holy. The Egyptian Book of the Dead was a collection of spells and magic that supposedly helped the dead deal with the afterlife. Christians believe the Holy Bible is the word of God (2 Timothy 3:16).
Afterlife Many archaeologists believe rulers had the pyramids built to serve as their tombs. They believed they could enjoy material possessions after death. Their bodies were preserved as mummies because they believed preserving them would help their soul survive properly. In heaven believers enjoy unbroken fellowship with God for eternity. (See Romans 6:23, 2 Corinthians 5:8, and 1 Thessalonians 5:10.)
Salvation Egyptians believed they would be judged after their death for their deeds done on earth. One belief was that the dead person’s heart would be weighed with a feather on the other side of the scale. If the heart was heavy with evil deeds and weighed more than the feather, the person would not have a good afterlife. Doing good deeds is not enough for salvation. (See Ephesians 2:8,9.) Salvation is by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ.

Beliefs Story

Comparing Current Issues in Hinduism and Biblical Christianity

Hinduism
Christianity
How many? It is estimated there are about 850 million Hindus in the world today. (Source: World Almanac and Book of Facts 2005) More than 2 billion people in the world call themselves Christian. (Source: World Almanac and Book of Facts 2005)
Tolerance A Hindu saying is, “The truth is one, but different sages (wise people) call it by different names.” Hindus have been called “tolerant,” because they believe other religions are true. However, Hindus do not accept that Jesus is the only way to God. Radical Hindus have attacked Christians who spread this belief. The Bible tells Christians to treat people who have different beliefs with kindness and respect (1 Peter 3:15). The Bible does not say all religions teach the truth. Jesus said He is the truth and the way to God (John 14:6).
Karma “Karma” refers to the Hindu belief that a person’s actions make them what they are in the future, including future lives. Hindus believe they may have to be reborn hundreds or thousands of times to pay for all the mistakes they made in former lives. Some other religions have similar beliefs. Christians believe people have only one life (Hebrews 9:27). They know, “A man reaps what he sows” (Galatians 6:7, NIV). But the Bible says, “You have been set free from sin,” and, “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:22,23, NIV).
God Hindus may believe in one main god, and some Hindus pick one god to be their own special god. But Hindu teachings tell of many gods. Christians believe, “The Lord our God, the Lord is one” (Deuteronomy 6:4).

Beliefs Story

Comparing Beliefs About Life After Death

Non-Christian Belief
Christian Belief
Modern Pop Culture “She’s gone to heaven so I’ve got to be good, so I can see my baby when I’ll leave this world” (from “Last Kiss” by Wayne Cochran). “There is none righteous, no, not one” (Romans 3:10). Trying to “be good” is not enough for salvation. (See Ephesians 2:8,9.)
Buddhism Reincarnation. A soul is supposedly born again and again until it reaches a state of “nirvana” and becomes part of the universe. In heaven, believers enjoy unbroken fellowship with God for eternity. (See Romans 6:23, 2 Corinthians 5:8, and 1 Thessalonians 5:10.)
Islam “Never you forget…the day when your good works are weighed against the others” (from a rap song by a U.S. Muslim composer. Source: Mynaraps). Muslims believe a person’s good and bad deeds will be weighed on Judgment Day. Those with more good works than bad will go to Paradise. “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8) (Also see John 3:16 and Romans 8:1.)
Secular Humanism Secular humanism teaches that there is no life after death. “For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive” (1 Corinthians 15:21,22). (See also Matthew 22:31,32.)
Animism Many animists believe that after death, a person’s spirit continues to live near their earthly home. Animists may make offerings to their dead ancestors to please them. “We are confident…and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:8, NIV).
Spiritism Spiritists believe they can communicate with people who have died. The Bible says that those who “call up the dead” are “an abomination to the Lord” (Deuteronomy 18:9–12).
Hinduism Hindus believe in reincarnation. “Karma” is the belief that the way someone behaved in a former life determines what he or she will be in the next life. “It is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27).

Beliefs Story

Comparing Marxist Communism and Biblical Christianity

Marxist Communism
Biblical Christianity
Beginnings Marxism came from the teachings of Karl Marx, who lived in the 1800s. Jesus was with God at the beginning of time (John 1:1). God sent Him to earth to save the lost (John 3:16,17). His followers are Christians.
Books Marx’s book, The Communist Manifesto, explains some of his ideas about Marxist communism. Christians believe the Holy Bible is the Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16).
God Marx believed that God is an invention of man and that He does not exist. Christians worship God and believe His power and nature are clearly seen in His creation (Romans 1:20).
Who is supreme? To Marxists, the group (or government) is supreme. Marxists believe people should give up their personal rights and property to the larger group. They believe in that way, society will become a better place. Christians should submit to earthly authorities (Romans 13:1). However, God is supreme. Acts 5:29 says, “We ought to obey God rather than men.”
Family A famous Marxist, Frederick Engles, taught that marriage started as a way for men to rule over women. He said traditional marriage is boring. He believed the care and education of children are mainly the responsibility of the society rather than the family. The Bible teaches honor and respect for marriage. (See Ephesians 5:28–33.) The Bible instructs parents about the training of their children, and children about honoring their parents (Ephesians 6:1–4 and Deuteronomy 6:6,7).
Righteousness Marxists believe men and society can become perfect on earth, without God, by following Marxist ideas. Righteousness comes from God through faith in Christ (Romans 3:22).