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Ten Bold Believers Stories from 2008

Ruth

1. Uzbekistan: Student Prays for Teacher Who Threatened Her
Ruth and her family have been through many years of struggle. People in their town make fun of them for their faith in Christ. “Please pray for me,” Ruth wrote in a 2008 e-mail to a VOM worker. “At school the teacher asked me to tell about the ancient Greek gods. I said, ‘There are no gods. There is only one God.’

“The teacher said to me, ‘Be quiet. And quit telling your fairy tales at school or I will take you to the principal and you will be expelled.’”

Ruth’s e-mail continued, “I feel sorry for the teacher. She is a good person, but she does not know that Jesus loves her. She has her own children. I wish I could tell them stories from the Bible. Please pray for my teacher.”

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Bangladesh: Runa Finds Peace

Bangladesh

Runa’s family had no peace. Her mother was expecting the family’s seventh baby. None of the children in the family had ever been to school because the family was too poor.

They lived together in Bangladesh in a house with walls of dried mud. The roof was made of grass. The entire house was just 10 feet wide and 15 feet long. (Measure off a 10 by 15 foot space to see the size of their house.) Runa’s parents earned one meal of rice and about 75 cents each day for their work in farmers’ fields.

Every Friday, Runa’s father went to the mosque to pray. A mosque is a building where Muslims worship, and Friday is their holy day. Runa and her family tried to be good Muslims.

But they still had no peace.

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Kids of Courage: 2006 Top Ten Bold Believers Stories

Nigeria

Note: To protect their identities, the names of some of the people on this Web site and some identifying details have been changed. Some of the quotes are edited and paraphrased from the original sources for clarity.

The following stories are about kids and families who bravely continued to serve the Lord in the face of struggles or danger. As you read the stories, please pray for these Christians and also for thousands of others around the world who face similar struggles.

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Bangladesh: Praise and Promise

Bangladesh

Meaningful Names
In Bible times, parents gave their children names with special meanings. Sometimes the names described how God was working in their family or their nation. For example, Samuel, meaning “heard by God,” was an answer to his mother’s prayer. Moses, who was drawn out of the water, had a name that means “drawn out.”

Today some parents in Bangladesh also give their children names with special meaning for Christians. Workers from The Voice of the Martyrs (VOM) once met some Bangladeshi children named Praise and Promise.

Praise is 7 years old, and Promise is just a baby. Their father’s name is Stephen, and their mother’s is Anjali. (See Pastor Stephen’s photo at right. His eyes are covered to protect his identity.) The boys’ names show that their parents love God and trust in Him.

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Bangladesh

Bangladesh

Bangladesh

RESTRICTED

Capital
Dhaka

Size
In area, Bangladesh is a little larger than the state of Iowa. But Bangladesh is very crowded. It has a larger population than the eight most populous U.S. states combined: California, New York, Texas, Florida, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Michigan.

A Christian worker in Bangladesh said, “That would be like squeezing half of everyone in the U.S. into the state of Iowa.”

Main Languages
Bangla (also known as Bengali)

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

Fact
A study showed that Bangladesh has the highest rate of marriage in the world for girls under age 15.
History
Bangladesh was part of India until 1947. Then it became East Pakistan. Bangladesh became an independent country in 1971. Natural disasters are common in Bangladesh.

Religion
Bangladesh has the fourth largest Muslim population in the world. Less than one percent of the population is Christian.

Persecution
Islam is the official religion of Bangladesh. It is not against the law for Christians to worship, but they face serious persecution, especially if they are Christians who used to be Muslims. Muslims do not want people leaving Islam to follow Christ.

Muslim mobs often cause Christians trouble. They have threatened Christians, attacked them, torn down their houses, and destroyed rickshaws that some Christians use to make a living.