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Back to School

 

(Photo: Two children at a school in Africa. Their faces are covered to protect their identity from people who may want to harm them or their families.)

This is the time of year when most American kids return to school for the fall semester. But Christian kids in some countries don’t always have the freedom to get a good education in peace.

*Cuba
Christian children are sometimes mocked, bullied, and not promoted to the next grade.

*China
Officials in China closed a Christian school last year, claiming that the children were “brainwashed.”

*Indonesia
Muslim parents warn their children not to play with Christian children or make friends with them.

*Uganda
In parts of Uganda, Christian children are not welcome to attend school in Muslim areas.

*Mexico
In Chiapas, Mexico, authorities sometimes refuse to let children stay in school if their parents become Christians.

*Egypt
Christian children in Egypt have been forced to sit in the back of the class, and some students are given bad grades just because they are Christians.

*Pakistan
Christians in Pakistan are often hired to do only low-paying jobs. They sometimes can’t afford to send their children to school.

To Talk About
*Will you thank God today for your school assignments and for the opportunity to get an education?
*Ask God to protect and provide for children in each of the countries mentioned above.


Hieroglyphic Code

Hieroglyphic
Click the image to enlarge

Hieroglyphics is a kind of picture writing used by ancient Egyptians. Each hieroglyphic symbol below stands for the letter beside it. (The code is not based on an actual hieroglyphic alphabet.) To decode the sentence, write down the letters represented by the symbols. Check your answer in Isaiah 37:16 (NIV).

Learn about the religion of ancient Egyptians and how it differs from biblical Christianity here.

Read about Christians in Egypt in Bold Believers in Egypt, available in the Downloads section.


Egypt: Lana Finds Peace

Egypt

(From the Kids of Courage archives)

Lana hated Christians. She and her Muslim friends in Egypt were taught to stay away from Christians.

Lana’s school friend, Sahar, had a plan. She asked Lana to join her in carrying out her plan.

Sahar planned to listen to Christian programs on the radio. The girls would then choose the Christian radio host who seemed to be the weakest in his faith. They decided to write letters to the host and ask him questions that he could not answer.

Lana liked Sahar’s idea, and she agreed to help. She wrote a letter to one of the Christians and explained that she was a Muslim girl who would “never be shaken from her faith.” Her letter then asked the host, “Is Christ God, a messenger (prophet), or the Son of God?”

Read the rest of this entry »


Egypt: Help for Christians

Girl in Egypt

“Egypt may be the most intense place for Christians in the Middle East right now,” said The Voice of the Martyrs’ regional director for the Middle East. Christians were already treated like second class citizens. But now they are suffering because of an increase in attacks by radical Muslims.

Marina
Marina was afraid she wouldn’t be able to go to school anymore. Muslim attackers had driven her family and more than 1,000 other Christians from their homes and their jobs in the town of El-Arish. The Christians were scattered throughout Egypt.

“We are a big family, lots of brothers and sisters,” Marina told a pastor in her new town. “My father is too poor to send us to school.”

The pastor encouraged Marina by telling her the story of Jesus feeding 5,000 people with five loaves and two fish.

The Voice of the Martyrs sent backpacks, school supplies, and school fees to El-Arish families about 10 days later. The pastor stopped at Marina’s house first to tell her the news. Marina and her mother cried with joy as they realized that Marina and all of her brothers and sisters would be able to attend school.

Stronger Faith
A Christian in Egypt noticed that persecution had increased the faith of some of the believers. “They have no one to depend on except God,” he said. “And God is providing for their needs.”

To Talk About
*Read the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000 with five loaves and two fish in John 6. How might the story have encouraged Marina?
*How was the faith of the persecuted Christians strengthened?

(Source: The August 2019 The Voice of the Martyrs magazine. Edited for length, clarity, and age appropriateness)

Read more about Christians in Egypt in Bold Believers in Egypt, available in the free Downloads section.

Find an Egypt lesson plan here.


Yousef’s Journey

Yemeni Muslims

Trouble at School
Yousef, his parents, and his younger brother lived in Djibouti, an African Muslim country where Christians are sometimes persecuted. Yousef was the only Christian in his school. Ibrahim, his father, told Yousef’s teacher that he did not want Yousef to pray the daily Muslim prayers. But the teacher said Yousef would have to join the class in reciting the prayers, because the school was a Muslim school.

Scary Phone Calls
Then, on the morning of his 17th birthday, Yousef got a phone call. “Today is your birthday,” the mysterious caller said. “And we don’t want you celebrating with unbelievers.” (When the caller said “unbelievers,” he meant non-Muslims.) Yousef thought it was just a prank call, and he left for school.

At about noon, Yousef’s mother, Fatima, answered a call from Yousef’s phone. A strange voice said, “Your son is dead.” Fatima and Ibrahim were devastated. But then at about 6 that night, Yousef called them! He was alive!

More Moves
Violent Muslims had kidnapped Yousef and flown him to Yemen, where Yousef’s family used to live. The family had converted from Islam to Christianity, but had left Yemen to avoid persecution. (Islam is the religion of Muslims.) The kidnappers tried to convince Yousef to return to Islam, but he would not.

After the kidnappers released him, he and his family moved again — this time to Ethiopia. Ibrahim now shares the good news of Jesus with Yemeni refugees in several countries. Yousef earned a degree in biblical studies, and he is studying social media so he can share the gospel online. He helps his dad work with Yemeni immigrants in Egypt.

Yousef’s family has been on a long journey since deciding to follow Jesus, but they believe it’s worth it. “The purpose of all of this is for Jesus to be glorified,” said Ibrahim. Please pray for the family to reach more Yemenis for Christ.

(Source: The August 2019 The Voice of the Martyrs magazine. Edited for length, clarity, and age appropriateness)