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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

Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan

RESTRICTED

Capital
Bishkek

Size
Slightly smaller than South Dakota.

Main Languages
Kyrgyz and Russian

Time
At 6:00 a.m. U.S. Central Standard Time, it is 5:00 p.m. in Kyrgyzstan.

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. Kyrgyzstan was one of those countries. Today most of the people are Muslim, but many do not take their faith very seriously.

 

Religion
Mostly Muslim.

Persecution
Even though many people in Kyrgyzstan are not serious about their Muslim faith, many do not like it when a Muslim becomes a Christian. They believe Islam is part of their culture.

Sometimes Muslims refuse to let Christians bury their dead in local cemeteries. Christians say that sometimes police will not help them when Muslims cause them trouble or harass their church members.


Countries Story

Laos

Laos

Laos

RESTRICTED

Capital

Vientiane (pronounced “vyen-TYAHN”)

Size

In area, a little larger than Minnesota.

Main Languages

Arabic

Time

At 6 am U.S. Central Standard Time, it is 7 pm in Laos.

Interesting Fact
Hundreds of mystery jars are scattered over the Plain of Jars in Laos. The huge stone containers are hundreds of years old and large enough for a person to stand in. Some scientists believe the jars were part of burial customs of ancient people.
History
Laos became independent from France in 1953. A communist government took control of Laos in 1975. The communists do not have a history of protecting the human rights of the people. But the leaders have given the citizens more freedom in recent years.

 

Religion
Most of the people of Laos are Buddhists. Many are spirit worshipers. Learn more about spirit worshipers here. Learn more about the beliefs of Buddhists here.

Persecution
Local officials have tried to make Christians give up their faith in Christ. Sometimes they threaten to kick Christians out of their homes and villages, or point guns at them to make them deny Christ. Some Christians are jailed for their faith.


Countries Story

Lebanon

Lebanon

Lebanon

HOSTILE

Capital
Beirut

Size
In area, a little smaller than Connecticut.

Main Languages
Arabic, French, English, Armenian

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

History
Lebanon gained independence from France in 1943. A civil war from 1975 until 1990 destroyed many lives and much property. Tensions and violence have continued off and on. 

Religion
In the 1940s, the majority of the people in Lebanon were Christians. By the 1970s, Muslims had become the majority. Muslims began to demand an equal part in running the country. When they did not think their demands were being met, a civil war began. Many thousands of people were killed during the war. Today more than half the people in Lebanon are Muslims.

Persecution
The constitution of Lebanon says that citizens are free to follow the religion that they choose. Persecuted Christians from nearby countries sometimes seek sanctuary in Lebanon. The main danger to Christians is from radical Muslims among the citizens. In addition, Muslims who leave Islam to follow Jesus are persecuted by their families and other Muslims.


Countries Story

Libya

Libya

Libya

RESTRICTED

Capital
Tripoli

Size
Slightly larger than Alaska.

Main Languages
Arabic

Time
At 6:00 a.m. U.S. Central Standard Time, it is 1:00 p.m. in Libya.

History
Many groups have controlled Libya over the centuries including Romans, Arabs, Italians, and British. Libya declared independence from Britain in 1951. An army officer named Muammar al-Qadhafi took over the government in 1969. In 2007, Qadhafi said, “Christianity is not a faith for people in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas.” He also said those who do not practice Islam are “losers.” Qadhafi died in 2011 after ruling for 42 years.
Religion
Mostly Muslim.

Persecution
Islam is the official religion of Libya. The government often does not investigate or respond to attacks on Christians or their property by radical Muslims.


Countries Story

Malaysia

Malaysia

Malaysia

RESTRICTED

Capital
Kuala Lumpur, where the Parliament meets, is the capital of Malaysia. (The Parliament is the group of officials who are responsible for making the laws.) Government offices moved to Putrajaya in 1999. Putrajaya is the “federal administrative center.”

Size
Malaysia has two regions, West Malaysia and East Malaysia. The total area of both regions is a little greater than the area of New Mexico. Source: CIA Factbook

Main Languages
Malay, English, Chinese

Time
At 6 a.m. U.S. Central Standard Time, it is 8 p.m. in Malaysia.

Interesting Fact
Malaysians love kites. Some people use giant kites as decorations in their home.

 

History
Britain used to control Malaysia. In 1957, Malaysia became an independent nation. It included only the part of Malaysia that is on the Malaysian Peninsula. The states of Sarawak, Sabah, and Singapore joined the 11 states on the peninsula to form the Independent Federation of Malaysia in 1963. The new country’s 14 stripes and 14-pointed star stood for the 14 states.

In 1965, Singapore became a separate country. The 14 stripes and the star now stand for the 13 states and the capital, Kuala Lumpur.

Religion
About half the people in Malaysia are Malay people. The government considers all Malays to be Muslims from birth. Other groups in Malaysia include people whose ancestors came from China and India, as well as native tribal groups. People who are not Malay are allowed to follow religions other than Islam. (Islam is the religion of Muslims.)

Persecution
Changing to another religion is strongly discouraged.  It is against the law for anyone to share the truth of Jesus with a Malay person.