Serving Persecuted Christians Worldwide - Childrens Activity - Open Doors UK & Ireland

Words of Peace

Children and Families Activity

Christmas should be a time of peace. Sadly, though, many Christians live in places where following Jesus means that they might be attacked, or bullied, or even forced to leave their homes. This is what we mean by ‘persecution’.

This means that many Christians around the world can’t celebrate things like Christmas openly. They might have to keep quiet about it. Or they might have to celebrate in a safe place.

What they want is peace.

We often think about peace at Christmas. Maybe you have seen pictures or Christmas cards with ‘Peace on Earth’ written on them. That’s because when the angels appeared to the shepherds they said this: “Praise God in heaven! Peace on earth to everyone who pleases God.” (Luke 2:14 CEV)

  • What do you think of when you think about ‘peace’?
  • Do you have a favourite peaceful place? What does it look like?

 

Read

This is a Bible verse which you might hear a lot at Christmas. Although it was written hundreds of years before Jesus was born, Christians believe that this is a prophecy about Him.

‘A child has been born for us. We have been given a son who will be our ruler. His names will be Wonderful Advisor and Mighty God, Eternal Father and Prince of Peace.’ (Isaiah 9:6 CEV)

  • Because of this verse, Christians talk about Jesus as ‘Prince of Peace’. Why do you think they call him that?

 

Story

Bijli

Christmas is a time of peace. But in many places around the world Christians cannot celebrate Christmas because it would get them in trouble.

Bijli* lives in Bangladesh with her Mum and Dad, and her younger brother Mohon*. In her village, a lot of the people don’t like Christians.

Other children wouldn’t play with them because they were Christians. Sometimes Bijli was bullied.

“At school,” she said, “some friends push me and make me cry.” When her mother asks her why they do this, she says, “Because I am a Christian.” They can’t even celebrate Christmas because it would make a lot of people angry.

That’s why some friends of Open Doors arranged a special Christmas celebration for them in a safe place where there were lots of other children to play with. Around 100 Christian families came together – that’s a big party! For some people there, it was the first time they had ever properly celebrated Christmas.

They even had a special Christmas dinner: daal (which is a kind of lentil stew), chicken curry, and rice. Everyone dressed up in their best clothes. There is dancing and singing and a band playing music.

They even had a birthday cake to celebrate Jesus’ birthday.

“I like the songs, dancing and celebrating Jesus’ birthday,” said Bijli.

 

Think

What could you do to help people like Bijli, Mimi and Valentina?

  • Perhaps you could send a message to Christians like them? Open Doors helps Christians in the UK and Ireland to send messages to persecuted Christians around the world. You can find out more here.
  • Perhaps you could raise some money to help? As we’re thinking about peace, you could hold a sponsored silence!

 

Pray

You can definitely pray for them! Pray for all Christians who are not able to celebrate Christmas in peace.

  • Pray that wherever they are, they would be able to celebrate Jesus’ birthday in peace.
  • Pray that they might be protected from any harm.
  • Give thanks that we can celebrate Christmas in safety and freedom.

 

Activity

Send your friends a message of peace.

Why not make your own Christmas card to send to friends or family?

You can design your own card, or you can download this template and colour it in. It’s a picture of Bijli and her friends celebrating Jesus’ birthday. Write your own message of peace and love inside the card and give it to someone special!

Download Card

 

Thanks

Thanks so much for spending time praying and thinking about persecuted Christian children.

Please continue to pray for them.

And have a very, very, very peaceful Christmas.

Get involved

Your support helps persecuted Christians continue to courageously follow Jesus.
Together, we can reach those where persecution hits hardest.