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An Accidental Bible Student

Muslims believe they should pray memorized prayers five times a day at certain times. Pintu, a boy in Bangladesh, followed the Muslim prayer rules. He even inspired other Muslims to pray in the mosque. (A mosque is a building where Muslims worship.)

Pintu believed that Islam, the religion of Muslims, was “the only true religion in the world.” Almost 90 percent of the people in Bangladesh are Muslims, so Pintu had no one to show him another way.

A friend suggested that Pintu write a letter to a certain address. He wrote the letter, then got a letter back that said, “Welcome to our Bible Correspondence Course.” Pintu had accidentally signed up for a Bible class! He was angry. He had been taught that Christians have wrong ideas.

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Persecution News Updates

Bangladesh

Bangladesh

Eighty children from Christian families left their homes in Bangladesh. Their parents thought they were sending the children to nearby cities to get an education, which is a common practice in Bangladesh. But then they lost contact with their children and began searching for them.

Eleven of the children were rescued from Muslim boarding schools where they were punished if they didn’t say Muslim prayers or read the Quran. (The Quran is the Muslim holy book.) Muslim religious leaders had taken them to the school.

Pray for the children who are still missing and for those who have been returned to their families.

India

India

A pastor and his family in India showed kindness by giving someone a ride in their van. During the drive, they played Christian music and testimonies in the van. Their passenger made phone calls to non-Christians in the village they were approaching. When they got to the village, a mob of more than 300 people attacked their van, breaking out the windows. The mob demanded the audio of the Christian songs and testimonies.

Note to parents and teachers: Visit the “Pray” section at www.persecution.com/pray to find out how to get VOM’s emailed prayer updates. A review of the updates is recommended before sharing them with children.


U.S. State Department’s Religious Freedom Report

US DOS Logo

This week the U.S. Department of State released their 2011 International Religious Freedom Report. The report covers 199 countries and territories. Go to the report here and use the “Go to a Country Report” drop-down box to begin searching reports from specific countries. The reports tell what religions people in the country follow, what the laws of the country say about religious freedom, and whether or not there are abuses of religious freedom in that country.

See the “Countries” section on this site or the “Restricted Nations” section at Persecution.com for further information about selected countries.


Family Faces Villagers’ Anger

Bangladesh
Children in Bangladesh reading a children’s Bible

A worker from VOM’s family of missions told the following story about a Christian family:

We had to fly for 11 hours, drive for 7 hours, take a boat for a half hour, and ride on a motorbike taxi to reach the family we wanted to visit.

Akash is a quiet 12-year-old boy. His sister, Rupa, is 8. They live with their family in between two rice fields. After the harvest, the rainy season comes. Puddles and lakes fill up quickly. During this season, the farmers become fishermen.

Akash and Rupa’s family used to be Muslims. All the other people in their village are Muslims. Not long ago, their lives changed. One day, a young man visited the village. He talked with the people and told Bible stories. Akash and Rupa like that very much. Their parents were also impressed, and they let the young man come back to visit them.

The man was an evangelist who spread the gospel. He told the family that the Lord Jesus Christ wants to forgive our sins. In Islam, the religion of Muslims, there is no one who can take away sins. The whole family trusted Jesus and felt the love of God in the hearts.

Soon the news traveled through the village. The whole village turned against the family because they had become Christians. The family was no longer allowed to get water from the village water pump.

Many kids at school treat Akash and Rupa badly. They are teased and hit. “I don’t fight back,” said Akash. “I don’t dare to. Even my dad was beaten up. He still has a scar on his head.”

The family does not even think about leaving the Lord Jesus. Happily, more villagers have come to faith in Jesus. So they don’t feel so alone anymore.

Please pray that peace will come to the village and more villagers will come to Jesus.


Happy in My Heart

Kids in Bangladesh

The Voice of the Martyrs is part of a group of missions around the world that serve the persecuted church. A worker from another mission in VOM’s family shared the following story after a trip to Bangladesh.

The worker said:

Nine-year-old Abraham lives with his Christian family in a small village in Bangladesh. On Friday afternoon, they join with other Christians and have a church service on a porch. They have to talk quietly during the service in case the neighbors are listening.

The neighbors are Muslims. They are not happy that Abraham’s family is Christian. When Abraham passes by their house, they look at him angrily.

“Since my parents and I believed in Jesus, other people treat us badly,” said Abraham. “Friends won’t play with me anymore, and some kids hit me.

“The teacher says I have to go to a different school. It makes me sad that no one in the village like us. But still, I am happy in my heart because we know and love Jesus.

“I like it when the pastor talks about Noah. I like the story a lot. Noah stayed faithful to God even though many people did not want to listen to him.”

The worker from the VOM mission also said, “If you live in Bangladesh and start following Jesus, a lot of people don’t like it. Some Christians are not allowed to drink from the village water wells or borrow things from neighbors. Sometimes children are picked on at school, just like Abraham.

“Pray that the Christians will be faithful to Jesus, that they will not be teased, and that they can have church services freely.”

Watch a video from Bangladesh here.

Source: SDOK, translated from the original and edited