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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 prayer suggestions below, and choose one to pray for today.

Algerian children

Prayer request: Some children in Algeria can no longer see their dad. After he became a Christian, their mom’s family made her leave him and take the children with her.
Prayer: Dear Father God, please be very close to the children in Algeria who cannot see their dad anymore. Please bless their hearts as they miss their dad very much and he misses them. Help their dad trust You. Give him Your hope, strength and great love. Please help the children and their mom believe in Jesus and see their Dad again. Help their mom’s family believe in Jesus too. Thank you. Amen.

Iranian parents and child

Prayer request: A child’s parents were taken from their home by the police because the parents love and follow Jesus. The dad’s name is Amir Taleipour and the mom is Mahnaz Harati.
Prayer: Dear Jesus, please help this child not be scared but to trust You and know Your love more than ever before. Set the mom and dad free from prison so they can all be together again. Help the mom and dad trust You to look after their child, as they must be so worried. Keep them all safe. Fill their hearts with Your love. Help the police believe in You too. Amen.

Girl in Uzbekistan

Prayer request: Pray for youth in Uzbekistan who are forced by police to sign papers that tell lies about their pastor. The police also tried to force a woman named Lolakhon Umarova to say bad things about her pastor. She said “No,” so the police made her family throw her and her son out of their home.
Prayer: Dear God, please help the boy and his mother to find somewhere safe and nice to live. Please fill the Christian youth in Uzbekistan with Your power, love and truth. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Find more about Christians in Iran, Uzbekistan, and Algeria in Bold Believers in Iran, Bold Believers in Uzbekistan, and Bold Believers in Algeria and Tunisia, available in the Downloads section.

 


Election Day

On Election Day in the United States, citizens vote for candidates running for president and other public offices.

In recent years, a church in Uzbekistan held an unusual election. Two choices appeared on the ballot:

  • Will we follow the instructions of the police?
  • Will we follow the Bible?

The police said that the Christians were not allowed to meet together to worship God because their church was not registered with the government. However, the government would not register the church.

The congregation decided to follow the Bible. No one voted for the other choice, even though they knew they would be persecuted for their decision. After the vote, the police constantly gave the congregation a hard time. Once they arrested everyone at a youth group meeting and burned their Bibles. Later, officials kicked the pastor and his family out of the country.

Christians in many countries continue to trust God even when it is risky to follow him.

“Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve.” (See Joshua 24:15.)


Ukrainian Children Encourage Prisoners

Christian children in Ukraine have been writing letters of encouragement to Christian prisoners and former prisoners. They are mailing the letters in the yellow mailbox to Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan. (See the photo.)

The Soviet Union (also called the U.S.S.R.) used to be the world’s most powerful Communist country. It split up into smaller countries in the early 1990’s. Ukraine, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan are four of the smaller countries. The Ukrainian children want to encourage Christians who have not been treated fairly by their governments.

You can also encourage Christians in prison for their faithful spreading of the gospel. To send greetings to a Christian prisoner in another country, visit prisoneralert.com. Click on the name of a prisoner, then on “Write a Letter.” Follow the instructions to complete the process.

Or, to send your own greeting, continue the process until you get to the step in which a prisoner’s address is shown. Then instead of finishing the process and printing the letter, use the address provided to mail a greeting. (Find more instructions here.) Go to a post office to ask how much postage you will need to mail the letter.


Uzbekistan: Child Questioned by Police

Uzbek boy

 Fact: Uzbekistan is a doubly landlocked country. A country is landlocked if it is not next to a sea or ocean. Doubly landlocked countries are landlocked countries surrounded by other landlocked countries. (The Caspian and Aral Seas in the region are actually big lakes.)

Fact: Some Christians in Uzbekistan don’t want a Bible because it is risky to own one. Even if they are caught with a digital Bible on their smartphone, they can get in trouble with the police.

Even kids in Uzbekistan may have a hard time because of their faith. Earlier this year, the police shut a Christian mother and her children in their bathroom while they searched their house. The kids’ dad was not at home. When they left, the police took the family’s Bible and computer with them.

Two days later, officials took the family’s 8-year-old son out of school and questioned him. They let him go home, but then called him and his mother back again. They threatened the family with fines and jail time if the boy’s father continued to attend church. Officials in Uzbekistan pressure people of all faiths to keep their children away from meetings for worship.

(Source: Forum 18 News Service)

What Would You Say
What would you say if someone questioned you about your faith in Christ? Let someone act as a questioner, and role play answering the questions below.
*Are you a Christian? What does it mean to be a Christian? What rules do you have to follow?
*What does Jesus mean to you?
*What does the Bible teach?
*How does someone become a Christian? How did you become a Christian?


Uzbekistan: Prisoner Not Forgotten

David Shestakov

Todd Nettleton of VOMRadio.net recently interviewed David Shestakov, a pastor from Uzbekistan who was imprisoned for his faith. Part of the interview is below.

Todd Nettleton: We are in the studio today with David Shestakov, former prisoner for Christ in the nation of Uzbekistan. One of the ways that The Voice of the Martyrs helps prisoners is by encouraging American Christians to write letters to them in prison. We told people, “Write letters to David Shestakov in prison.” Tell us about what it meant to you inside the prison when those letters started coming.

David Shestakov: I experienced a huge impact of these letters in many ways…In our prison they replaced the guards every year in order to prevent corruption. So new guards who came on duty usually beat up those prisoners who were imprisoned for “extremism,” like myself. They beat them first, then they introduced themselves.

When the new guards called me, at the same time a post office worker approached with a sack full of these letters. He started to yell, “This Shestakov; we are tired of him! We are tired of these letters!” Everybody came out of their rooms just to see what he was screaming about and why he was upset. He explained that I was receiving 100 letters a day, and everybody was tired of the letters. The new guards were impressed by the fact that I received such attention from all over the world. They were really polite to me.

Todd Nettleton: David, some of the people who wrote those letters are going to be listening to this radio broadcast, I would like you to speak directly to them and tell them what it meant that they wrote those letters.

David Shestakov: I was dreaming about this opportunity to say thank you out of my heart. I really admire what you have done for me and for my family, because these letters created different opportunities for me while I was in prison, as I said. Also, it encouraged me personally that I was not forgotten; that many people remembered me. At first I thought that I was left behind and everybody forgot about me. But receiving all those letters every day from all over the world encouraged me to go through these trials. Thank you very much for what you have done for me.

(Source: VOMRadio.net. Edited for length and clarity.)

Would you like to write letters of encouragement to Christian prisoners? Find out how at prisoneralert.com.