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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.

Uncategorized Story

10 Quotes from 2019

The following quotes were shared with or by workers from The Voice of the Martyrs during 2019. Most of the quotes came from Christians in countries where believers are persecuted.

1. “This is the greatest gift I’ve received on earth. I’m thankful to get this before I leave this world.” — woman in Asia who received a Bible from VOM. She was a Christian for 20 years before she owned a Bible.

2. “I wish I could have been in there longer so more of the prisoners could hear the gospel.” — Christian in prison for his faith who was released after six months.

3. “If I would disobey God, I would not have persecution.” — persecuted Christian in India

4. “I don’t think courage is not to be afraid. It is to choose to do the right thing even if you are afraid.” — Christian in the Middle East

5. “God is not tame and safe. But He is kind and gentle.” — VOM worker

6. “They spread the virus; we have the antivirus.” — VOM worker who helps Christians spreading the gospel in a country where non-Christians are also spreading their false teachings.

7. “There are amazing blessings to be found that seem only to be found in times of suffering.” — VOM worker

8. “Just pray that we will not stop sharing [the gospel] until our last breath.” — persecuted pastor in India

9. “The nail that sticks out is the one they hammer down.” — persecuted pastor

10. “Following Christ means following risk, not just blessing.” — persecuted African believer

(Source: VOM workers and contacts. Edited for length, clarity, reading level, and security.)

To Do
Choose five of the quotes above and say them in your own words. How many of the quotes do you agree with?

To read additional quotes, click here and here.

 


Spotlight Story

Nigeria: Halima

(Source: VOM Australia)

When Halima was 6 years old, her life changed in dramatic ways. Like many of the people in Nigeria, she and her parents were Muslims. But her father, Adod, learned about God’s gift of salvation through Jesus, and he became a Christian. Soon Halima and her mother joined him in trusting Jesus as their Savior.

Adod’s relatives were angry because he left Islam to follow Christ. (Islam is the religion of Muslims.) They forced Halima’s mother to divorce Adod, marry a Muslim man, and follow Muslim ways. Halima had to move to her stepfather’s house with her mother. In her new home, Halima was mistreated because she was a Christian.

Adod was concerned about Halima, so at great risk, he took her from her stepfather’s home and arranged for her to stay at a pastor’s house. But Muslims threatened the pastor for taking care of her.

Christians helped Halima move to a safer location where she will not be harmed. Adod is nearby, and they are able to see each other often.

(Photo: Halima with friends. She is wearing the striped jacket.)

Pray for Muslims around the world who are mistreated when they decide to follow Christ.


Activities Story

Thank You Note Day

December 26 is National Thank You Note Day. On that day, many people write thank you notes to friends and relatives who gave them Christmas presents.

Read below some suggestions for writing additional thank you notes.

  1. Go to www.PrisonerAlert.com and find out how to write a note to a Christian in prison for their faith. Thank them for encouraging other Christians to serve God no matter what the cost.
  2. Is there someone in your community who faces obstacles as they tirelessly serve God and others? Send them a note thanking them for their service.
  3. Thank someone who has helped you grow in your faith and in your desire to be a strong witness for Jesus.

Spotlight Story

Celebrating Christmas

The following post was adapted from the writings of Pastor Richard Wurmbrand, the founder of The Voice of the Martyrs. Pastor Wurmbrand died in 2001.

Historians are not sure of the exact date of Jesus’ birth, or of the reason December 25th was chosen to celebrate it. Pastor Wurmbrand suggests a reason persecuted Christians might have chosen December 25th.

(The post has been edited for length, clarity, and age-appropriateness.)

Pastor Wurmbrand said:

Jesus surely was not born on December 25th. The Bible does not tell us the date.

In the Roman Empire, the 25th of December was a holiday celebrated in honor of the sun. Perhaps the Christians chose that day to celebrate Jesus’ birth. With others also celebrating on that day, the Christians’ celebration would be less noticeable to authorities who persecuted them for following Jesus.

But the Christians did not just celebrate Jesus’ physical birth. They celebrated the daily miracle of Jesus’ birth in the souls of those who had accepted Him as Savior.

Jesus was born in a stable and put in a manger. Jesus does not belong in a manger. The place he longs for is in our hearts. That is where He wants to live.

When He is born in my heart, that is the real Christmas.

Celebrate Christmas in this sense.

(Source: Reaching Toward the Heights by Richard Wurmbrand)

[Photo: Iraqi child celebrating Christmas]


Spotlight Story

Azerbaijan: A Christmastime Birthday

The president of Azerbaijan is Ilham Aliyev. He will be 58 years old on December 24, 2019. Aliyev is the son of the previous president. He speaks five languages, and he has three children.

More than 90% of the people in Azerbaijan say they are Muslim. But many do not take their faith seriously. Fewer than 10% are Christian. Zoroastrianism was a main religion in Azerbaijan before the Muslims came. Today the people still honor some traditions from Zoroastrianism. (See the “Beliefs” section for more information.)

Even though many people in Azerbaijan are not serious about their Muslim faith, many do not like it when a Muslim becomes a Christian. They think Islam is part of their culture. Friends and relatives discourage Muslims from following Christ. It is often difficult for young adult Christians to find someone to marry who also follows Christ. Since marriage is an important part of their culture, they are often urged to marry a Muslim.

Officials sometimes give churches and Christians a hard time.

Listen to an MP3 of Christians in Azerbaijan singing a Christmas song in the Azeri language. Do you know the name of the song in English?

Pray for President Aliyev on his birthday and pray that he will have a positive attitude toward Christians in his country. Pray that Christians will be able to celebrate Christmas peacefully.

[Photo: Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan]