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Bold Believers in Syria

Bold Believers in Syria includes stories, history and culture facts, activities, and recipes that help children understand the daily lives of people in a country where civil war has driven more than 750,000 Christians from the country. The 48-page book is available free from the Downloads section of this site.

Countries Story

Nigeria

Nigeria

Nigeria

HOSTILE

Capital
Abuja

Size
In area, Nigeria is larger than Texas and smaller than Alaska. Nigeria has the largest population of any country in Africa. Source: CIA Factbook

Main Languages
English, Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo, and Fulani.

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

Interesting Fact
Names of some places in Nigeria are palindromes — they are spelled the same forward and backward. Some of Nigeria’s palindrome place names are: Elebele, Izzi, Kulluk, Okomoko, Akataka, and Efife.
History
Nigeria became independent from Britain in 1960. Greed and dishonesty have kept Nigeria from being a more successful country. Some Nigerians try to get money from people all over the world by sending dishonest e-mails that ask for money and falsely promise rewards. Others find different ways to try to cheat people. Honest Nigerians hope their country will improve.

Religion
Northern Nigeria is mostly Muslim, and the south is mostly Christian.

Persecution
In many places in Nigeria, it is not always safe to be a Christian. A radical Muslim group, Boko Haram, attacks and kidnaps Christians and others they don’t agree with. Many children have lost parents in the attacks.

Countries Story

North Korea

North Korea

North Korea

RESTRICTED

Capital
Pyongyang

Size
Korea used to be one country. After World War II, the country was split into North Korea and South Korea. North Korea has more land than South Korea. But South Korea has a population of about 50 million people, compared with about 25 million in North Korea.

Main Languages
Korean

Time
At 6:00 a.m. U.S. Central Standard Time, it is 9:00 p.m. in North Korea.

Interesting Fact
It is against the law in North Korea to share the gospel of Jesus. For many years, The Voice of the Martyrs has sponsored the launching of balloons that carry Scriptures into North Korea.
History
Today, North Korea is one country and South Korea is another. But Korea used to be all one country. Many Koreans followed Christ in the early 1900s. The city of Pyongyang was called “the second Jerusalem.” Japan took control of Korea in 1910. The Japanese wanted the Koreans to follow Japanese ways and non-biblical beliefs. They persecuted Christians, but the church still grew.

After World War II, Korea split into North Korea and South Korea. The North became a communist country. Today more than one-third of the people of South Korea follow Christ. Those in the North have no freedom of religion. Today many in Pyongyang have never heard of Jesus.

 

Religion
The North Korean government wants people to honor the country’s leader instead of God. A few churches exist, but the government controls whether or not people attend. Only God knows how many believers live in North Korea, because the government controls any information that comes in and out of North Korea.

Persecution
Christians risk great danger to meet together. They know they can go to prison for many years just for owning a Bible. Thousands of Christians are in prison.


Countries Story

Oman

Oman

Oman

RESTRICTED

Capital
Muscat

Size
Slightly smaller than Kansas.

Main Languages
Arabic

Time
At 6:00 a.m. U.S. Central Standard Time, it is 3:00 p.m. in Oman.

History
A new sultan took control of the government of Oman in 1970. (A sultan is the ruler of a Muslim nation.) Qaboos, the new sultan, put plans in place to give citizens more freedom and opportunities. But the people still do not have as many rights as people in free countries.

 

Religion
Mostly Muslim.

Persecution
Islam is the official religion of Oman. Many workers from other countries live in Oman. They are allowed to go to non-Muslim buildings of worship approved by the government. Christians must get approval from the government before they print any Christian books or materials. Almost all citizens are Muslims, and those who change their religion have fewer legal rights.


Countries Story

Pakistan

Pakistan

Pakistan

RESTRICTED

Capital
The capital of Pakistan is Islamabad, named in honor of Islam, the religion of Muslims.

Size
Pakistan is about the size of California and New Mexico combined. Its population is more than half of the population of the entire United States.

Main Languages
Urdu, English, Punjabi

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

Interesting Facts
Steering wheels are on the right side of the car in Pakistan, and people drive on the left side of the road.

Only about half the adults in Pakistan can read.

History
Pakistan was part of India until 1947. Muslims in India who wanted a country of their own started Pakistan. In 1971, East Pakistan left Pakistan to become Bangladesh.

Religion
Most of the people in Pakistan are Muslims. By law, the president of the country must be a Muslim.

Persecution
Many Muslims in Pakistan get along with Christians. But Christians are harshly persecuted by Muslims who are radical in their faith. Muslims who decide to follow Jesus often face the worst persecution. Even their families treat them badly.

Pakistan’s “blasphemy laws” say that no one may say anything against Islam or damage the Muslim holy book, the Quran. Even Christians who do not do these things are sometimes falsely accused of blasphemy.


Countries Story

Philippines

Philippines

Philippines

HOSTILE

Capital
Manilla

Size
The Philippines is an archipelago off the coast of Asia. An archipelago is a group of islands. The total area of the islands is about the same as the area of Arizona.

Main Languages
Filipino and English are official languages in the Philippines. Numerous other local languages are spoken.

Time
At 6:00 a.m. U.S. Central Standard Time, it is 8:00 p.m. in the Philippines.

Interesting Fact
The people of Marikina City, Philippines, say their city owns the world’s largest pair of shoes. The shoes are about 18 feet long and 6 feet high. Ten shoemakers built them. Only an imaginary person more than 100 feet tall would fit into the shoes. (Goliath in the Bible was nine feet tall.) 

History
The Philippines was ruled by Spain and the U.S. before it became an independent country in 1946. Muslims in Mindanao have fought to get an independent land of their own for many years. Their violence and the violence of other groups have caused much death and sadness.

Religion
About 80% of Filipinos are Catholic. About 5% of Filipinos are Muslim. Many Filipino Christians are bold missionaries to non-Christian countries.

Persecution
Some Muslims work with Christians to bring about peace in their land. Extremist Muslims have threatened and attacked Christians on the island of Mindanao.