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Rules for Schools

Chinese girl with her Bible

Suppose you went to school one day, and your teacher gave the class the following instructions:

1. You must not ever enter a church.
2. You should not have any Christian beliefs or beliefs of any other religion.
3. You must not share any religious beliefs with others.

Teachers in one part of China received online notices telling them to warn students not to disobey the instructions.

What will happen if the students do not obey the orders? The school will be punished. The teachers will have to make sure the students obey so the teachers won’t get in trouble.

Christian parents in part of China also received warnings. Their bosses were told to reduce the pay of Christians to discourage them from attending church.

China: Bibles Before Food

A Chinese Bible

In one mountainous area of northern China, most of the land will not produce crops. The farmers and their families are very poor. Each family earns only about $255 a year, so they can’t afford things they need.

But the farmers’ faith in God is strong. They quoted a verse from Matthew 6:26 to VOM contacts who visited them: “Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?”

The Christian farmers knew that VOM was willing to help them with their needs. They had one main request. “Our spiritual food is much more important than bread,” they said. “Please help us with the Word of God. If you come with bread but no Bibles, we will be disappointed.”

To Talk About
What did the Chinese farmers want more than food?
If the farmers are hungry, why do you think they wanted something more than food?

(Source: VOM Australia)

Pastor Released!

Mu’en, Xiangen, and their mother

Mu’en and Xiangen were 14 and 5 when their father, Yang Hua, was in prison.

Yang Hua is a pastor in China. His church, The Living Stone Church, started with about 20 members in 2009. By 2015, more than 700 people attended the church.

Government workers have given the church a hard time since it opened. Once they even cut off the church’s water and electricity during Christmas services.

Later they arrested Yang Hua and put him in prison. Mu’en, Xiangen, and their mother prayed for Him while he was gone. The Voice of the Martyrs told Yang Hua’s story on the website, and Christians in the United States wrote him encouraging letters and prayed for him, too.

Last month, praise God, Yang Hua was released! What do you think he did when he first left the prison? He began singing loud songs of praise to God.

You can learn more about Yang Hua and other released prisoners, and Christians still in prison, at Can you choose one prisoner on the site who has not yet been released and join Christians around the world in praying for them?

No Freedom to Teach Kids

Boys in Bangladesh reading a children’s Bible

In the United States, we are thankful for our freedom to worship and to speak about our beliefs. Religious freedoms are some of the freedoms we thank God for on July 4th.

In our country, we are free to go to church and Sunday school, to read our Bibles, to sing Christmas songs, and to pray without anybody trying to stop us. But in many other countries, Christians do not have the same freedoms we have.

In some places, governments try to keep Christians from teaching the truth about Jesus to children. They understand that the lessons children learn when they are young will stick with them the rest of their lives.

In Bangladesh this year, police in one Muslim village said that Christians are allowed to talk about their faith only with other adults. They also said that no one under age 20 may convert to another religion. That means that Muslim youth would not be allowed to become Christians.

In one area of China, local officials issued an order forbidding anyone under 18 from entering a church. Officials visit church services, and if they see children at the church, they close down the church. “Many believers are afraid to come to church,” said a Chinese Christian.

To Talk About
*What are some religious freedoms for which you are thankful?
*Why do some governments forbid Christians from teaching Bible truths to children?
*What do you think you would do if you were told that your church would close down if you attended church?

What Can You Do? Pray!

Release International is The Voice of the Martyrs’ sister mission in the United Kingdom. (Read more about VOM’s sister missions around the world here.)  Release International encourages kids to pray for Christians in countries where followers of Christ are persecuted. Read three of their suggested prayers below, and choose one to pray today.

Dear Jesus,
Please bless the children of Alimujiang Yimitri in China. Their dad was arrested in 2008 and sentenced to 15 years in prison because he is a follower of Yours. His sons will be 16 and 12 this year, and they miss their dad very much. At times they have only been allowed to see him for 15 minutes every three months. Please give the boys your special strength, hope, and love. Help them trust You to look after their dad by Your almighty power, and bring him home soon. Amen.

Dear Jesus,
Thank you that Christians in other countries pay for some Christian children to go to school in Sri Lanka. Many more Christian children would love to go to school, but sadly their families can’t afford it. Please work in miraculous ways so that all Christian children can go to school. Amen.
“With God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26).

Dear God,
Be with all the children who have been sent to prison with their families in Eritrea. Please give them all they need — food, water, and a safe place to sleep. Let them know that You are with them. Let them trust You, and fill their hearts with Your love. Keep them safe, and set them free. Please bless the family of a mom called Fikadu who died in prison. Amen.

(Source: Release International, Edited)

The next post will include Release International prayers for Christians in India, North Korea, and Egypt.

Read more about Christians in China, Sri Lanka, and Eritrea in Bold Believers books in the Downloads section.