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Bold Believers in North Korea

Bold Believers in North Korea includes stories, history and culture facts, activities, and recipes that help children understand the daily lives of people in a country where citizens are forbidden to practice Christianity. The 54-page book is available free from the Downloads section of this site.

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.


Countries Story

Turkmenistan

Turkmenistan

Turkmenistan

RESTRICTED

Capital
Ashgabat (Ashkhabad)

Size
Slightly larger than California.

Main Languages
Turkmen, Russian, Uzbek

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

History
Turkmenistan was considered part of Persia before the 18th century. A great trade route called the “Silk Road” ran through Turkmenistan.Turkmenistan became part of the U.S.S.R. (often called “The Soviet Union”) in 1924. The Soviet Union was the largest communist country in the world. In the early 1990s, the Soviet Union broke up into many smaller countries. Turkmenistan was one of those countries. Recent leaders of the country have not been interested in giving the citizens freedom to worship as they want.

Religion
Mostly Muslim.

Persecution
Police raid churches that are not registered with the government. It is illegal to print religious literature, like the Bible, without government permission. By law, Christians may not share their faith with non-Christians. Foreign missionaries are prohibited. Non-Christians are sometimes hostile to Christians.


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