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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

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.


Countries Story

Ethiopia

Ethiopia

Ethiopia

HOSTILE

Capital
Addis Ababa

Size
Slightly less than twice the size of Texas.

Main Languages
Amharic

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

History
Ethiopia was ruled by royalty until Emperor Haile Selassie was overthrown by the military in 1974. Droughts, famine, fighting, and violence have been part of Ethiopia’s recent history.

Religion
About 60% are Christians and about 30% are Muslims.

Persecution
In some areas, there is tension between Muslims and Christians, but attacks on Christians by radical Muslims are rare.


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.


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