FIFTH COURSE: Central Asia
For the FIFTH COURSE we suggest coffee and cake. Why? Because in some Central Asian countries, Christians disguise their meetings as meals to avoid arrest. They are sharing prayers and Bible verses, but it looks to all the world as though they are just having coffee and cake.
Central Asia is a region that encompasses the so-called 'Stans - Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan - some also include Afghanistan. It's a region where, increasingly, Christians face arrest, imprisonment and violence.
Stories of Bible smuggling and secret meetings from persecuted church leaders in Central Asia. Despite the discrimination, arrest and imprisonment, Christians have not forgotten Jesus and the gospel is spreading.
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PRAYER: YOUR STEERING-WHEEL OR SPARE TYRE?
A family-friendly video. Brother Viktor used to be a taxi driver - now he's selling quail's eggs. Find out why in this child-friendly video about persecuted Christians in Central Asia.
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Prepare your table with these two placemat designs. Placemats for adults/teens include a quiz, real-life story, Bible verse, and discussion question. Children's placemats include a picture to colour in, a real-life story, an easy-to-read version of the Bible verse, and a short prayer.
The Open Doors Prayer Diary is a unique monthly resource that helps you pray for your persecuted brothers and sisters and the work of Open Doors around the world. It also includes good news stories and answers to prayer.
Feel free to keep it simple and just serve coffee and your favourite cake. Add dried apricots, raisins and pistachios for a flavour of Central Asia (they drink a lot of tea, for those who don't fancy coffee). Here are some links for cakes from Central Asia: How to throw a Central Asian tea-party,Turkmen honey cake, Apple cake from Kyrgyzstan
This story of a secret believer from Central Asia illustrates the kind of pressure experienced by many believers.
You can also order your free copy of the Open Doors World Watch Guide 2017, read about the latest global trends in persecution and discover the four responses to persecution. Do you dive and survive, register and submit, flee and live, or stay and die?