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Flags of Turkey and Similar Flags

Flags

The flags of many Muslim countries display the crescent moon and a star. Before Islam began, pagans who worshipped many gods used the crescent moon as a symbol. (Islam is the religion of Muslims.) Muslim Turks who conquered Constantinople also used the moon as their symbol. (Constantinople in now called Istanbul. Istanbul is the capital of Turkey.)

People began to associate the crescent moon with the religion of Islam. Some Muslims today say the moon is not a symbol of Islam. However, the moon and star appear on the flags of many Muslim countries.

Print and color the page of flags here. The background of the flag of Turkey is red and the moon and stars are white. Find the colors of the other flags in the Countries section of this website, in the online CIA Factbook, or in other sources.

Enter the names of the countries in the search box of this site or the tags for this post to find stories that can guide you about how to pray for the country.


U.S. State Department’s Religious Freedom Report

US DOS Logo

This week the U.S. Department of State released their 2011 International Religious Freedom Report. The report covers 199 countries and territories. Go to the report here and use the “Go to a Country Report” drop-down box to begin searching reports from specific countries. The reports tell what religions people in the country follow, what the laws of the country say about religious freedom, and whether or not there are abuses of religious freedom in that country.

See the “Countries” section on this site or the “Restricted Nations” section at Persecution.com for further information about selected countries.


Mauritania: Not Easy for Christians to Get Married

Mauritania

Ethan and Kalila loved each other and wanted to get married, have children, and teach their children about Jesus. But their parents did not want them to marry each other. Their families went to extremes to keep them apart.

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Mauritania: Tea Parties and Desert Worship

Mauritania

A small group of men sit on a mat outside. Someone heats ingredients for mint tea on a small burner. The tea is poured into small glasses from high above the glasses, but nothing is spilled. Pouring the tea in that way makes it foamy and frothy.

According to Mauritanian custom, the tea is poured from glass to glass before it is served in three rounds. The glasses are washed after each round. Preparing and drinking the tea can take an hour or longer.

Mauritanians drink tea every day. No one thinks it is strange to see a group of men or women having tea together.

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Mauritania

Mauritania

Mauritania

RESTRICTED

Capital
Nouakchott (pronounced “nuh-WAHK-SHOT”)

Size
Mauritania’s population is about 3.3 million, a little less than the population of Oklahoma or Connecticut.

Main Languages
Arabic

Time
At 6:00 a.m. U.S. Central Standard Time, it is 12:00 noon in Mauritania.

Interesting Fact
In 2008, the government changed the weekend in Mauritania from Saturday and Sunday to Friday and Saturday. Friday is the day of worship for Muslims. 

History
France controlled Mauritania until the country became independent in 1960. Islam has controlled the spiritual life of Mauritania for more than 1,000 years. Slavery was a problem in the past in Mauritania, and it is still a problem today.

Religion
Almost all the people in Mauritania are Muslims.

Persecution
Mauritania is a difficult place to be a Christian. Only Muslims can be citizens. By law, Bibles cannot be printed. Muslims who decide to follow Jesus may be kicked out of their families and lose their jobs and their citizenship.