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Praying for Muhammad and Covered Ladies

Ibrahim, a pastor in Iraq, says that many Muslims are seeking the truth. “A lot of people are turning away from Islam,” Pastor Ibrahim said. (Islam is the religion of Muslims.)

Ibrahim encourages Christians to pray for more Muslims to come to Christ. He told VOM workers about one way his Christian friend prays for Muslims.

Ibrahim said, “My friend told me, “When I wake up, I don’t just pray for Muslims. Instead I say, “Lord, everyone whose name is Muhammad, please come to him.”’ So he is going to be praying for 20 percent of Muslims.” [Muhammad is the man who started Islam. Many Muslims name their sons after him.]

“We can also pray for every covered lady, ‘Please Lord, show yourself to her.’ So we are praying for 40 percent of Muslims.” [Strict Muslims believe that women should cover themselves in robes and scarves in public.]

To Think About
Pastor Ibrahim’s friend thought of a way to pray for Muslims. He prays for everyone named Muhammad, and for “covered ladies.” What are some other ways you can pray for Muslims?


Iraq Then and Now

Cuneiform

Sumeria, called Shinar in the Old Testament, was the lower part of Mesopotamia, the area between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. The southern part of Mesopotamia was later called Babylonia. Daniel and his friends were taken to Babylon, the capital of Babylonia. (See Daniel 3.) Babylonia was in the region that is now called Iraq.

 

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Double Country Word Find

Print the puzzle below. Hidden in the puzzle are the names of seven countries where Christian activities are limited in some way. Each country’s name is hidden TWICE. Look for the following countries running vertically (up and down), horizontally (across), or diagonally (slanted): Iraq, China, Nigeria, North Korea, India, Vietnam, Algeria.

N O R T H K O R E A
V I E T N A M A Z Y
N I B C C I N D I A
I I E W H T G S H A
G C G T I I W I C L
E X D E N R N R H G
R E V F R A A A I E
I N D I A I M Q N R
A L G E R I A U A I
N O R T H K O R E A

Merdan: Believing is Good

(The story and information below come from Stef, the children’s publication of SDOK, a ministry that is part of The Voice of the Martyrs’ family of missions. SDOK is in the Netherlands.)

Hi! I am Merdan and I am 7 years old. My father is a Kurd from Iraq. He fled to the Netherlands where he got to know the Lord Jesus and my mother. I have two brothers and one sister.

We have visited my relatives in Kurdish Iraq. My relatives live in a very beautiful part of Iraq with high mountains and beautiful rivers. Kurdish food is also very tasty: chicken and a lot of rice!

I liked many things but some things I did not like. Few people there believe in Jesus. One of my relatives believes now, but he doesn’t dare talk to anyone about it. Otherwise, he may not come home anymore. People always say that he must become a Muslim again.

The Kurdish children really don’t have a nice life. Some children are paralyzed and have to beg for money. Many children also work, for example as a street vendor. In Iraq we could also go to church, but it was a super long drive. Christians find a church service in the city way too dangerous, so they look for a quiet place in nature.

My father tells everyone he encounters about Jesus, and many people have come to believe in Him. I believe in the Lord Jesus; that is the most beautiful thing in my life. I sometimes dream about God. He says softly, “Merdan, Merdan!” And puts His hand on my head. I really like that. I want to be close to Him. Children in the Netherlands are blessed. We don’t have to flee because there is war in our country or because we believe in Jesus.

More About the Kurds
Many Kurds do not live in the Middle East, but in other countries.
Germany: 530,000
France: 84,000
The Netherlands: 75,000
America: 52,000
No country: The Kurds are the largest people in the world that have no country of their own.

Kurds in the Middle East: There are 35 million Kurds living in northern Iraq and Syria, eastern Turkey and western Iran.
Religion: Most Kurds are Muslim, around 95%.

[Photo above: Merdan. Can you tell what game he is playing?]

To Do
Hospitality is very important to the Kurds and in the Bible. At Merdan’s house, people eat with them every day. His parents tell their guests about the gospel.

Can you invite someone to dinner this month? Maybe you can tell that person about God’s love.


Myriam: An Update

A previous post told the story of Myriam, a 9-year-old Iraqi girl whose family was driven from their home in Qaraqosh, Iraq, by ISIS fighters. She left behind her school, church, and friends. Myriam was uncertain of her future, but certain that God is good and would always care for her.

A video of her interview with a Christian TV network went viral, and people all over the world heard about her willingness to forgive her enemies. You can watch the video here.

The December 2019 The Voice of the Martyrs magazine tells what is happening with Myriam now. Read an excerpt from the story below. (Edited for length and clarity.)

When Myriam was 9 years old and living in a refugee camp, she left a reporter speechless by saying she forgave the self-proclaimed Islamic State (ISIS) for displacing her family from their home in Qaraqosh, Iraq. The video of the interview went viral. Myriam, now 14, and her family returned to Qaraqosh earlier this year.

Though looted and scarred by a few bullet holes, their home was one of the few still intact. Myriam and her family were dismayed by the damage but thankful their home was still standing when so many others had been destroyed. They were also thankful to see that their family Bible had survived over the years. On Easter Sunday 2019, Iraqi Christians, including Myriam and her family, gathered in churches across Qaraqosh to worship and celebrate their hope in Christ.

Today, Myriam and her sister, Zomorod, are back in school in their hometown. When asked if she still forgives ISIS, Myriam said, “Of course I forgive them. I love Qaraqosh. It’s where I was born and studied during my childhood. But the more important thing is that I love to see people believing in God.”

(Photos courtesy of SAT-7 TV.)