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Writing Letters to Christians in Prison

Writing Letters to Christians in Prison

Aim

Encouraging our persecuted brothers and sisters who are in prison to stand firm in their faith.

Goals

  1. Youth will be educated that Christians are still imprisoned today for their faith.
  2. Youth will encourage a jailed believer by writing a letter to them.

Background

Christians around the world are placed in prison because of their faith in Jesus. This is not new; it has been happening since the beginning of Christianity.

The apostles Peter and John were arrested because they were telling people about Jesus (Acts 4).

Jesus warned His disciples that being a Christian will mean that you will be hated by the world (John 15:18-19).

However, although believers in restricted nations may know these things, during persecution it is easy to feel isolated, alone and to be tempted to deny Jesus. It is our duty to care for our brothers and sisters, especially those who are persecuted and in prison for their faith.

Hebrews 13:3 says, “Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.”

Activity

  1. Download  prisoner profiles. Provide enough for each group or each person.
  2. Have a leader introduce the activity and why you are writing letters to Christians in prison. Use the background information and the PowerPoint presentation as a guide.
  3. Split your youth into groups. Depending on group size this could be done just as effectively as individuals.
  4. Provide the group with a prisoner profile, a sheet of paper to write on and a pen.
  5. Allow the groups time to write a letter.
  6. Pray for the prisoner.
  7. Have a leader collate the letters and send them to:

Voice of the Martyrs Australia

PO Box 250
Lawson NSW 2783

Variation

Instead of writing a letter, have the youth write a message on a chalk board and take a photo of it with a Polaroid or digital camera. Print the photo and send to Voice of the Martyrs.

Links:

Prisoner profiles

PowerPoint presentation

Life of Persecuted Christians

Life of Persecuted Christians

SimulationNightBanner

 

Simulation Game

Aim: Youth will gain an understanding of some of the difficulties Christians face in restricted countries.

Objective: Smuggle Bibles to the church without being caught.

Environment

This game is best done outside.

Police

Youth leaders will be the police. Their objective is to stop the Christians from smuggling the Bibles. They do this by tagging the youth. If the person tagged is carrying a Bible they are immediately arrested and the Bible confiscated. If the person is not carrying a Bible they play scissors, paper, rock. If the person loses they are taken to prison. If they win they can go free.

Christians

The youth will be the Christians. Their objective is to smuggle the Bibles to the designated area without being caught. There are a limited number of Bibles and there aren’t any more coming. If they are caught with a Bible they are arrested on the spot. Because they are Christian, even if they do not carry a Bible they can be arrested.

Secret Police

There can only be two Secret Police. The Secret Police are recruited by the Police. The Police can tempt the Christians to become Secret Police instead of sending them to jail.

The Secret Police’s job is to stop the Christians from getting their Bibles to their destination. They do this by tagging the Christian, confiscating the Bible and taking them to jail.

Jail

The jail is a designated area. Mark this out with witches’ hats or something similar. Police are not allowed within 5 metres of the area.

Christians are sent to jail if they are arrested by Police.

To be released from jail one of your team mates needs to tag you. All the prisoners can link arms and be released once a team mate tags one of the prisoners.

Designated area for Bibles

The designated area for the Bibles to be delivered to can be marked out by witches’ hats. It can be any size. Police can guard it but need to keep 5 metres away from the area. However, they can arrest someone who goes into the designated area.

Finishing the Game

The game ends if:

– Everyone is in jail.

– All the Bibles have been smuggled to the designated location or confiscated.

– Time is up.

Debrief

Bring the youth back together for debrief.

Have a leader explain that although this was a game, this situation is real life for many Christians in restricted countries.

Many Christians are arrested for carrying a Bible or for evangelising, and others are arrested just because they are a Christian.

Watch this video of someone who has been arrested for their faith. {insert video]

After the video, break the youth into groups. If you have time, continue debriefing with them.

Here are some helpful questions:

  1. What went through your mind during the game or from watching the video?
  2. What was frustrating about the game?
  3. Knowing that people are arrested for being Christian, how should we respond?

Finish by spending time in groups praying for Christians in prison. Your group can also write a letter of encouragement to a Christian in prison.

Find prisoner profiles  or Writing letters to prisoner’s activity

What do Boko Haram and Islamic State have in common?

What do Boko Haram and Islamic State have in common?

 

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08-Blog

Bank building destroyed by Boko Haram in Adamawa State, Nigeria.

Destruction and total annihilation is what Boko Haram and Islamic State (IS) have in common. The picture shown above is sadly a telling sign in Nigeria that Boko Haram have arrived, killing and destroying everything in their path.

Boko Haram and IS have a common agenda: to annihilate anything that does not fit with their Islamic ideology.

Who is Boko Haram?

Boko Haram are found in northern Nigeria. They are an Islamic extremist group who want to eradicate western influence, or anything does not fit with their ideology. They specifically target Christians. In 2014, around 200 school girls were abducted. The leader, Abubakar, was quoted saying, “I abducted your girls, I will sell them in the market, by Allah. I will sell them off and marry them off.” (Source: BBC http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-18020349)

Who is IS?

IS are found heavily in Syria and Iraq but are also having a wider influence in places like Egypt, Nigeria and throughout the Middle East as more and more extremist groups turn to them for support. Their goal is to make an Islamic state that imposes their rendition of Islam.

What can we do?

It’s easy to feel helpless and overwhelmed by what is happening in places like Iraq and Nigeria, and then don’t do anything about it. This is what we cannot allow ourselves to do.

There are four ways we can help our persecuted brothers and sisters today.

  1. Be informed
    To pray, we need to know what to pray for. If a friend of yours were sick, you would want to know what they were sick with and the background of their sickness. This would allow your prayers to God to be more specific and personal. It is the same for our persecuted family. We should know what is happening to them so our prayers and our care can be more personal. You won’t find much information in mainstream media on Christian persecution – it’s unpopular. But you will find it from Thirteen Three. Sign up to our monthly enews or VOM’s weekly prayer email to stay informed.
  2. Pray
    Prayer is powerful and we have a God who listens and responds to our prayer. “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” 1 Peter 5:7.
    Look at Releasing the Gospel into North Korea Part 2 for an example.
  1. Share
    Tell your friends, tell your family, tell all of Facebook what is happening to our Christian brothers and sisters. They too may be unaware and through your sharing might become #boundwiththem. The more people praying and caring for our persecuted family, the more encouraged they will be to stand firm for Jesus.
  2. Give
    Become a partner with Thirteen Three by booking a Thirteen Three speaker or by considering investing into some of our projects. Your contribution goes a long way in supporting persecuted Christians and by helping the spread of the Gospel.

On behalf of persecuted Christians, may we thank you for your partnership and support.

Book a Speaker  Donate

Sacrifice24

Sacrifice24

 

 

09-BlogIn 2016 it is our vision to see many young people demonstrate their willingness to raise awareness and support for our persecuted brothers and sisters.

On 3 June 2016 it’s Sacrifice24:
A day to make a statement that you are Bound With Them as you support the persecuted church. It is a day when you sacrifice something for 24 hours. It could be your phone, food, furniture, Facebook, anything!

Get your friends and family to support you. The money you raise will go to showing love, encouragement and support to persecuted Christians.

Here are some of the projects that your fundraising could support:

Sending Bibles into North Korea via hydrogen balloons

1 x Hydrogen tank $20

20 x North Korean New Testaments $35

1 x Hydrogen balloon with 20 New Testaments $110

1 x GPS tracker $340

 

Sponsor a Bible college student in a restricted nation

1 Term worth of sponsorship for a Bible college student $130

6 Months sponsorship for a Bible college student $260

1 Full year of Bible college student sponsorship $520

 

Register Here