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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.


Pakistan: Benish

Benish had a problem. A Muslim boy liked her, and he decided he wanted to marry her. Benish and her family are Christians, but they live in Pakistan, where most of the people are Muslims.

On behalf of their son, the Muslim boy’s parents asked Benish’s parents for her hand in marriage. Her parents refused. They knew that Benish would be expected to become a Muslim before the marriage.

The boy was angry, and he didn’t quickly take no for an answer. He continued to pester Benish to marry him. When Benish still said no, he became enraged and pushed her off the second floor of a building!

Benish was taken to the hospital in critical condition. No one knew if she would recover from her injuries. And the police were not helpful. They urged Benish’s parents to drop their case against the boy.

Many Christians around the world prayed for Benish and by God’s grace, she did recover.

Every year, Pakistani Christian girls are pressured into marrying Muslim men they don’t want to marry. Pray that the police and government will take their cases seriously, and that Christian girls will not be mistreated.

(Source: VOM Australia)


Netherlands Kids Celebrate Teacher’s Birthday

(The story below comes 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.)

Some elementary school students and their teacher at a Christian school in the Netherlands celebrated the teacher’s birthday in unique way. First the teacher arranged for someone to give a presentation at the school about persecuted Christians in Pakistan. Then the children raised money to give to SDOK for projects to help Pakistani Christians.

“We received a box to put the money in,” said Anne, one of the students. “I do odd jobs and often walk my dog, Tayla. Then I put the money that I earn in the box.”

What do you think of the class’s idea to honor their teacher by remembering persecuted Christians? (See Hebrews 13:3.)


Christian Boy Beaten Up by Bad Sport

In Pakistan, Christians are often treated as if they are not as good as other citizens. They may not have a chance to get a good education. And they are often given jobs no one else wants — like making bricks and cleaning sewers.

Several months ago, Vishal, a teenage boy in Pakistan, was reportedly involved in an arm wrestling match with a Muslim boy. Vishal won. The Muslim boy could not accept that a Christian was better than he was at something. “How could a [person] of a dirty community defeat me?” he asked.

They wrestled a few more times, but Vishal won every time. “I will teach him a lesson,” the Muslim boy said.

After the wrestling match, a gang of Muslims caught Vishal and beat him up. After a time, gangs beat him up twice more. But his family was advised to not report the beatings to the police, or they could be in more danger from Muslims who want revenge.

Christians have asked for prayer for Vishal, his family, and churches in Pakistan.

(Sources: VOM Australia and International Christian Concern


Pray with Kids in the United Kingdom

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

Pakistani girls

Pakistan
Ask Jesus to be very close to Christian girls in Pakistan who are kidnapped and taken away from their families. They are often forced to marry Muslim men and even become Muslims themselves. Ask God to rescue them and get them back to their families. Pray that the girls will know Jesus’ love with them night and day and to know He is looking after them. Ask God to make their families brave and strong. Pray that teenagers Rimsha and Riffat, who were kidnapped, will know God’s love and peace and return home safely.

 

Afghan girl with a Bible

Afghanistan
Pray for a girl who has been persecuted at a school in Afghanistan. Her family moved to a different city to find a new school for her. However, her old school will not send her reports, so the new school will not allow her to start. Pray that God will give great love and peace to her family. Ask Him to give them hope and strength not to give up. Pray that God will provide a new school where the girl can learn, make new friends, and be happy.

 

 

Leah

Nigeria
Keek praying for Leah Sharibu, the 15-year-old girl who was kidnapped in Nigeria. Boko Haram, the radical Muslim group that took her away, said they will keep her as a slave because she will not stop loving Jesus. Pray for God to show His love in powerful ways to the kidnappers so they will let her go. Pray that another captive, Alice Ngaddah, and all other women and girls held as prisoners, will also be set free. Ask God to show them and their families His great love and to give them courage and hope.

 

 

Egyptian boy

Egypt
The following is a prayer for a boy in Egypt.
Dear God, thank you for protecting an 11-year-old boy who was nearly kidnapped by two men in Egypt. They wanted to take him away from his Christian parents just because they follow Jesus. Thank you for the person who rescued the boy. Please give the boy, his mom, and his family strength, peace, and healing. Help them trust You to keep them safe. Please look after the children of people who are helping Christians. Thank You. Amen.