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A President’s Birthday

President Rahmon

Ten Facts About Emomali Rahmon and His Country

1. Emomali Rahmon is the president of Tajikistan. He has been president since 1992.

2. Rahmon’s birthday is on October 5th. This year he will be 66 years old.

3. More than 90 percent of people in Tajikistan are Muslims.

4. The government is afraid of Muslim terrorists. So officials try to control all religions to make sure no violent group gains power.

5. Earlier this year in Tajikistan, terrorists killed two bicyclists from the United States.

6. It is illegal for children under 18 to attend public religious activities in Tajikistan.

7. Most of Tajikistan’s Christians are Russian Orthodox, but there are also Baptists, Catholics, Lutherans, and Korean Protestants.

8. If someone wants to print or distribute Christian materials, they have to get permission from the government.

9. Tajik is the language of Tajikistan. To say “thank you” in Tajik, say, “tah-shah-KOOR.”

10. In recent years, athletes from Tajikistan have won Olympic medals in boxing, judo, and wrestling. Soccer is a popular sport.

Pray for the president of Tajikistan on his birthday. Pray that he will rule his country wisely and fairly, and that his government will not prevent anyone from learning about Jesus.

(Sources include: The U.S. State Department’s International Religious Freedom Report and The Voice of the Martyrs’ Global Prayer Guide.)


Courageous Christians’ Countries

(Source: Release International, The Voice of the Martyrs’ sister mission in the United Kingdom.)

Can you identify each of the countries below by their shapes? If you need help, click on the “Countries” tab above to find locations and shapes of each country.

The countries are a few of the places where Christians are treated badly because they follow Jesus.


Empty Tables at the Wedding Reception

Khan at his wedding
Khan at his wedding

Khan and Asiya wanted to get married. They followed all the marriage customs of Tajikistan, the country where they live.

First Khan asked his parents to meet Asiya’s parents. The four parents met, and Khan proposed to Asiya officially. Their parents announced the wedding date and made all the wedding plans.

Then, a few weeks before the wedding, Khan’s Muslim parents realized that Asiya and her family were Christians. “Our son will NEVER marry a Christian!” they said. They were surprised to find out that Khan had a Bible. He, too, was a Christian! He had been baptized a few months earlier.

Khan’s parents said he could no longer be a member of their family unless he did the following.

  1. Break up with his girlfriend and cancel the wedding.
  2. Stop being a Christian.
  3. Read a Muslim prayer in front of everyone, and become a Muslim again.
  4. Marry a Muslim girl.

In their country, newlyweds live in the groom’s parents’ home until the couple gets a home. Khan said no to his family’s conditions. They kicked him out of their family. So right before he married Asiya, he had no relatives, no money, and no house to live in. At the wedding, the chairs reserved for his parents remained empty.

Asiya’s parents are asking for prayer for Khan. They would like Christians to pray:

  • Khan can find a job and a place to live with Asiya.
  • God will help him through the shock of losing his family.

To protect their identities, the names of some of the people on this website and some identifying details have been changed. Some of the quotes and stories have been edited and paraphrased from the original sources for clarity. Some faces are covered to protect the identity of Christians at risk.


Five Facts About Tajikistan

Tajikistan

  • Emomali Rahmon is the president of Tajikistan. His birthday is on October 5th. He was born in 1952.
  • Tajikistan is north of Afghanistan and west of China. Mountains cover about 90 percent of Tajikistan. Glaciers are common in the mountains.
  • In recent years, athletes from Tajikistan have won medals at the Olympics in boxing, judo, and wrestling. Soccer is the country’s most popular sport.
  • Tajik is the language of Tajikistan. To say “thank you” in Tajik, say, “tah-shah-KOOR.”
  • Most people in Tajikistan are Muslims. Christians in Tajikistan recently reported that government officials visited churches to find out if they were teaching children about Christianity. Confusing laws make it uncertain whether or not it is legal to teach children about any religion.

Pray for the president of Tajikistan on his birthday. Pray that he will rule his country wisely and fairly and that his government will not prevent anyone from learning about Jesus.


Kids of Courage in Russia

KOC in Russia
Дети отваги
(Children of Courage)

The U.S.S.R. (often called “the Soviet Union”) was the largest communist country in the world. In the early 1990s, it broke up into many smaller countries.

People in the smaller countries have their own languages. But many still speak Russian, the language of the Soviet Union.

Russian-speaking Christians have started a children’s website using Kids of Courage stories.

Go to the Map of Visitors page on this site to see if anyone in the former Soviet Union has recently visited Kids of Courage. The countries formed when the U.S.S.R. broke up are: Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania.

You can find out what life is like for Christians in some of those countries in the Countries section of this site.