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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

Gaza and the West Bank

Gaza and the West Bank

Gaza and the West Bank

HOSTILE

Size
Slightly smaller than Delaware.

Main Languages
Arabic, Hebrew, and English

Time
At 6:00 a.m. U.S. Central Standard Time, it is 2:00 p.m. in Gaza and the West Bank.

History
The United Nations divided the territory called “Palestine” into two parts in 1947. One part was given to the Jewish people. The other part was for “Palestinian” Arabs in the region. The Jewish part, Israel, became an independent country in 1948. Many of the Palestinians now live in Gaza and the West Bank. Israel gained control of Gaza and the West Bank in a 1967 war.
Religion
Mostly Muslim.

Persecution
A violent group called Hamas took over Gaza in 2007. Hamas said they would protect Christians. But persecution against Christians increased, and most Christians have left Gaza. Many Christians have also left Bethlehem, Jerusalem, and other places in the West Bank.


Countries Story

India

India

India

HOSTILE

Capital
New Delhi is the capital of India.

Size
India is one of the largest countries in the world, in both area and population. More than 1 billion people live there.

Main Languages
Hundreds of languages are spoken in India. Hindi is a main language.

Time
At 6 a.m. U.S. Central Standard Time, it is 5:30 p.m. in India.

Interesting Fact
Indian giant squirrels have tails that are about 2 feet long. The main part of their body is a little over a foot long. The squirrels can jump about 20 feet.

History
India became an independent country in 1947. Britain ruled India before that time. Most Indians believe everyone in India should be free to practice their religious beliefs. However, in recent years, extreme Hindus have become more powerful. They would like India to be more influenced by Hindu ways and beliefs.

Religion
More than 900 million people in India follow the Hindu religion.

Persecution
Christians in many places in India are mistreated because of their faith in Christ. The persecutors know they are less likely to get punished in areas where radical Hindus are in power. Hindus accuse Christians who help the poor and needy of trying to “bribe” or “force” people to become Christians. They also attack pastors who have led Hindus to Christ. In some states of India, Hindus are trying to get the government to pass laws that will make it harder for Christians to help people.


Countries Story

Indonesia

Indonesia

Indonesia

HOSTILE

Capital
The capital of Indonesia is Jakarta.

Size
In area, Indonesia is the 16th largest country in the world. It is estimated to be the fourth largest in population, after China, India, and the United States. Source: CIA Factbook

Main Languages
Bahasa Indonesia, English, Dutch

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

Interesting Fact
The law allows a Muslim man to have up to four wives if he is able to take care of them equally. By law, he must get a court’s permission and the permission of his first wife to take more wives.
History
Traders from India brought Hinduism and Buddhism with them to Indonesia about 2,000 years ago. Marco Polo visited Indonesia in the 1200s. Christopher Columbus hoped to find a shorter route to Asia and Indonesia’s “Spice Islands,” where traders came to buy spices. Muslims started coming to Indonesia around 700 A.D. By 1600, nine out of 10 Indonesians were Muslims. The Dutch people of the Netherlands controlled most of Indonesia for 250 years. Indonesia became an independent country in 1945.

Religion
Most of the people in Indonesia are Muslims.

Persecution
Indonesia’s constitution says the country has freedom of religion, but Muslims often receive better treatment than non-Muslims. Local officials sometimes close Christian churches. Muslims who leave their religion to follow Christ suffer persecution from relatives, former friends, and Muslim mobs.


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.


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