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Bethlehem Family Separated

Gaza and the West Bank

Bethlehem, where Jesus was born, is a city in the West Bank today. It is about six miles from Jerusalem. Christians live in Bethlehem, but most of the people are Muslims.

Saif, the father of five children, was a Muslim in Bethlehem. After studying the Bible, he gave his life to Christ. But his wife was not ready to become a Christian.

Saif’s five Muslims brothers told him to choose between them and Christ; they did not want a Christian in their family. Saif chose Christ.

Saif shares his faith with people who do not know the truth about Jesus. As a result, he has been arrested and has had to move to Jerusalem to continue sharing the gospel. His wife and children still live in the West Bank. Saif visits with his wife in Jerusalem often, and has encouraged her to read the Bible. He believes she will soon turn her life over to Christ.

Pray for families who are separated because of the faith of someone in the family. Pray for Saif’s brothers, wife, and children.


Christians in the Land Where Jesus Walked

VBS VBS

“A mosque stands on the temple grounds where Jesus faced the high priest. Hundreds of Arab Muslims live near the hill where He is thought to have been crucified. And many support a radical Muslim slogan calling for the elimination of ‘first the Saturday people,’ the Jews, ‘then the Sunday people,’ the Christians. The land where persecution against Christ’s followers began remains a hostile environment for his followers today.”

The words above are from the February 2014 The Voice of the Martyrs newsletter. Stories in the newsletter tell about Christians in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza, where many New Testament events happened.

To Discuss

  • What is a mosque?
  • Why do Muslims call Jews “Saturday people” and Christians “Sunday people?”
  • What is a slogan?
  • Why was Jesus taken before the high priest? (See Matthew 26:57–60.)
  • What does it mean that the land is a “hostile environment” for Christians?

Read a story and watch a video in the post Vacation Bible School Faces Challenges to learn about a VBS in the West Bank. (The Christians in the video are speaking Arabic.)
Learn more about Christians in the Holy Land in Bold Believers in Gaza and the West Bank available in the Downloads section.


Amal

IsraelA church service in the Holy Land

Parents and Teachers: The following story was adapted from the February 2014 The Voice of the Martyrs newsletter. The issue includes stories about bold believers in Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank. To subscribe to the free monthly newsletter, visit our subscription signup page.

As you read the newsletters, you may want to share stories from this site about the featured Christians with your children. Then pray together for the people in the stories.

Amal
Amal, a Muslim girl in Israel, first heard about Jesus when she was 13. She studied to learn more, but after two years, she still did not know which was true: Christianity or Islam. (Islam is the religion of Muslims.)

One night she prayed, “Okay, God, I want to ask you if you are the God of Islam. Just tell me that you are, and I will wear the hijab [Muslim head covering], and I will do all the prayers that you want.” (Muslims believe they should pray memorized prayers five times a day. Strict Muslims believe that women should wear head coverings.)

Amal continued praying, “But if you are the God of Christians, even if this will lead me to be killed, I will still believe in you.”

Read the rest of this entry »


Homework and Academic Fair Ideas

Bold Believers in Nigeria

Are you looking for a topic for a school report or academic fair project? The free Bold Believers activity books in the Downloads section of this site provide information about many unique subjects. Read the list below to find examples of some of the topics featured in the books.

(Find additional homework help ideas in our posts Homework Help and Write a Report: Be a Voice.)

Bold Believers in Nigeria
Nigerian languages
Shariah law
Bold Believers in Pakistan
9/11, the Taliban, al-Qaida
Blasphemy laws
Bonded laborers
Pakistani culture
Bold Believers Among the Khmu of Southeast Asia
Who are the Khmu?
Buddhist beliefs
Bold Believers in North Korea
Robert Thomas, missionary
Learning About Islam
Muslim beliefs and practices
Comparing Islam and Christianity
The Quran
Women in Islam
Bold Believers in Burma
Buddhism
Bold Believers in Colombia
Comparing Marxism and Christianity
Bold Believers in Turkey
Smyrna, a Turkish city
Bold Believers in Gaza and the West Bank
Jerusalem
Bold Believers in Eritrea
Eritrean Christians
Bold Believers in Egypt
Making papyrus
Comparing Christianity and the ancient religion of the Pharaohs
Bold Believers Among China’s Uygurs
Who are the Uygurs?
Bold Believers in China
Papermaking
Big things in China
Christians in China
Bold missionaries who went to China
Bold Believers in Iraq
Sunni and Shi’ite Muslims
Bold Believers in Algeria and Tunisia
Christians in North Africa (also see Bold Believers in Morocco and Egypt)
Berbers and Berber cave homes (also see Bold Believers in Morocco)
Bold Believers in Indonesia
Religions of Indonesia
Islands of Indonesia
Bold Believers in India
The states of India
Hinduism
Bold Believers of the Hmong People
The Hmong people
Bold Believers in Vietnam
The religions of Vietnam
Children of Christian prisoners
Bold Believers in Nepal
The religions of Nepal
Bold Believers in Chiapas (Mexico)
Christians in Chiapas
Bold Believers in Ethiopia
Ethiopian culture
Bold Believers in Uzbekistan
Uzbek culture

A Christian in Bethlehem

Church
A church in Bethlehem

Sameer attends a Christian church in Bethlehem, the town where Jesus was born. Today Bethlehem is in the West Bank, an area where most of the people are Muslims.

Sameer has difficulty moving around. For years he used homemade crutches until he finally got a wheelchair.

He grew up in a Christian family, but never really knew Jesus until he started going to the church in Bethlehem. After he gave his life to Jesus, his heart was filled with joy. But he also learned about the persecution that comes with following Christ.

One Wednesday night several years ago, during a time when angry Muslims were protesting against Israel, some radical Muslims interrupted an evening service at the church. The Muslims yelled at the Christians and threw rocks at them. One of the men hit Sameer. Some went to the church’s bookstore and tore pages out of the Christian books.

The attack was not the only time Muslims came to the church. “They did this many times,” said Sameer.

“I began dragging myself up to the second floor of the church near the bell tower so I could be a lookout,” Sameer continued. “I wanted to keep watch and alert the security guards on the first floor if trouble was on the way. We had walkie-talkies. I would stay up all night until 3 or 4 in the morning. It was exhausting…but I felt joyful. I felt like I was giving something to the Lord. I felt afraid, but when you have faith in the Lord, nothing shakes or scares you!”

(Source: In the Backyard of Jesus, by Steven N. Khoury, available at VOM Books. Edited from original source for clarity.)