Dear Friend of the Persecuted Church,
Millions of Christians face persecution worldwide. And that includes children.
Christian children are targeted for bullying and abuse for their belief in Jesus. Many live in poverty because they are Christian. Some face extreme pressures – even kidnapping and attempts to kill them – to force them to turn away from Christ.
So . . . how can we help children who suffer for belonging to Him?
You can impact their lives. Here are three inspiring stories – and ways to help (Names are changed for security).
God’s Surprising Roadmap for a New Believer
Saw Eh’s innocence abruptly ended when he awoke one night to his father trying to kill him. His Buddhist family would not tolerate that Saw Eh believed in Jesus.
The teen had accepted Jesus after he heard a person share their testimony. For months, his faith grew even as his family pressured him to give it up. That night the choice became clear: God, not his family, is his hope and refuge.
He ran away – fleeing his home and country. His first physical refuge came from the most unexpected place: a Buddhist temple. The monks let him stay, fed him, and allowed him to read his Bible. He knew no one and had no one to disciple him.
Would you believe . . . this Buddhist temple in a far-away rural village just happens to be down the road from Victory Bible Academy, Christian Freedom International’s school for persecuted Christians!
The monks suggested he visit our school. That led to Saw Eh being accepted as a student. He spent this past year studying the Bible, learning job skills, and fearlessly witnessing to others of God’s love.
Isn’t that an amazing testimony of God caring for His persecuted children!
Saw Eh was rejected by his family for being a Christian. Yet God saw him and prepared a place and family for him – the family of God.
Thank you for your part in God’s family! Your partnership with Christian Freedom International provides places – like Victory Bible Academy – and prepares Christians – like our staff – to care for and train His persecuted children.
Pray for children who come to Jesus and risk the wrath of their family and community. Tell others about Saw Eh’s story – to encourage them with how God guided and provided by bringing him to CFI’s Victory Bible Academy.
Food and Friendships for Persecuted Children
Christianity is legal in Egypt, but discrimination is built into everyday life. Children pick up quickly that the history of their faith in Egypt is one of martyrdom – an honor but also a daily cross for them and their families to bear.
A cross tattoo on a child’s little wrist is an ancient symbol that they belong to Jesus. But it can also make them a target for shame, harassment, and beatings. (Read more in our newsletter “Why Do These Children Have a Cross Tattoo?” online or contact us for a copy).
Christian men are denied jobs because Muslims are given preference. This strikes at a father’s ability to provide for his family. The most recent example is during Covid. For decades, Christians in Garbage City earned their living by collecting and recycling Cairo’s trash. Out of the blue, government contracts for the best districts were taken from Christians and given to Muslim businesses.
Christian women – mothers and daughters – face an epidemic of kidnappings, rape, and forced conversions. Many vanish. Those who are rescued are traumatized and shamed. We just got news of another Christian girl who disappeared. Her family received threatening text messages saying she would not return to them and not to search for her.
Persecution tears at the fabric of Christian families. This is where we can come in. We can assure them of God’s love despite the hardships.
Christian Freedom International matches persecuted children to Christians who will support and encourage them. As it turns out, encouragement goes both ways. The children pray for and love their sponsors.
Read this charming letter from a Christian child in Egypt to her sponsor:
“Thank you for your lovely letter. I’m so happy to write you. Firstly, let me tell you more about myself. I’m 12 years old. My favorite subject is science. I have bone cancer. Please keep praying for me and my sick father. Thank you for putting my photo in your kitchen and praying for me. Say hello to your two granddaughters, especially to your three-year-old granddaughter who is my friend. By the way, what is her name?”
This child, who is being raised by his grandmother, wrote to his sponsor:
“I’m so sorry to hear that you have Parkinson’s. I pray that the Lord touches you. He is the great healer. We trust Him. I thank you so much for your faithful prayers for me and my grandmother, and for encouraging me.”
Covid has caused even greater hardships for his grandmother and other widows. At the start of the pandemic, we knew we needed to do more to help.
Each month since shutdowns began, Christian Freedom International is giving “Covid aid” to Christian families. The bag of supplies stretches to feed children for weeks – and gives comfort to many Christian widows that their children have food.
One young widow (only 32 years old) said, “I make cheese sandwiches for my children from this food bag every day to eat while they are in school, and it also contains other different kinds of food which meet most of our monthly needs. It’s really very helpful. We highly appreciate helping us and we ask you to pray for us. May God richly bless you.”
Packages of food and letters of friendship are tokens of love. Contact us to sponsor a child and gain a friendship to brighten your day.
Teaching Children in a Jungle
Burma’s war against Christian ethnic minorities – fueled by violent Buddhist nationalists – is worsening. When men must leave their villages to fight the Burmese military, women and children are left behind to carry on as best they can.
But if the children who survive Burma’s military attacks cannot get an education, they will face double discrimination: for being a Christian in a Buddhist nationalist country and for being uneducated.
This is where Saw Pah decided to serve. He graduated from Christian Freedom International’s Victory Bible Academy and chose a remote village to put his skills to use. The two year intensive training prepared him to be a spiritual leader to the community.
Two years ago, the villagers fled their homes in a valley to evade military attacks and moved into the mountains. Children sit on the hilly ground in open-air classes. Between violent raids and bombings, life and classes go on.
This year, Saw Pah gave the closing prayer at their end-of-the-school-year celebration. A few days later, they watched from their hilltop perch as bombs destroyed their village.
He decided that his place – where he can serve God the best – is teaching and being a godly male role model for children as they live life in a war zone.
Your support for Christian Freedom International equips persecuted Christian youth – like Saw Pah – to reach the next generation of persecuted children.
Thank you for helping persecuted Christians through Christian Freedom International.
P.S. You can impact the lives of persecuted Christian children!
Here are 3 ways:
• Tell others how Christian children face intense persecution.
• Pray that God will protect and embolden them.
• Join us to equip Christians and reach children living under persecution.
Cover photo: A graduate of Christian Freedom International’s school for persecuted Christians returned to Burma’s war zone to minister to kids.
• Millions of Christians face persecution throughout the world. This includes children.
• Many Christian children are bullied, abused, and live in poverty because of their faith in Jesus.
• Some face extreme pressures – even violence – to force them to turn away from Christ.
Christian Freedom International is reaching persecuted children to encourage and equip them to survive and thrive.
When Christian families fled Burmese military attacks, many found refuge near our school.
Victory Bible Academy trains persecuted Christians to be leaders to their communities.
One student survived his Buddhist father’s attempt to kill him for becoming a Christian. A primary focus of the school is serving children.
Victory Bible Academy’s staff and students reached out to the families, providing food and supplies – and built a playground for the refugee children.
Jungle School Update:
“Saw Pah” gives the closing prayer at his jungle school’s end-of-year celebration.
Classes are held away from the village to avoid Burmese military raids and bombings.
Without schooling, these children face double persecution: for being Christian and for lacking education.
“Saw Pah” learned to teach children at Christian Freedom International’s school.
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:14
Christian Freedom International matches persecuted children to Christians who will support and encourage them. As it turns out, the encouragement goes both ways.
Letter from a Christian child in Egypt to her sponsor.
The children pray for and love their sponsors.
Christian girl in Egypt’s Garbage City reads her Bible.
She and other Christian children receive monthly support through Christian Freedom International’s sponsorship program.
Additional families receive “Covid food packages” to feed their children during the pandemic.
Please consider sharing this newsletter link with a friend when you are finished reading it.