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January 22, 2013

Teaching children about persecution

"I have concerns about materials that might introduce pain, torture, and death to a young child without a context for them" — Scottie May, author and professor of Christian Spirituality, quoted in Christianity Today

There is widespread recognition that teaching children skills and academic subjects should be done in an age-appropriate and kid-friendly manner. But some Christians seem to doubt that the same approach is possible when teaching kids about persecution. Kidsofcouragelogo

Certainly it would be inappropriate to "introduce pain, torture, and death to a young child without a context for them." The following are just a few of the concepts that ARE, in general, appropriate to introduce to children that can help them learn to "Remember the prisoners as if chained with them—those who are mistreated—since you yourselves are in the body also" (Hebrews 13:3).

Children can learn that:

*Some people do not know that the Bible is true, so they oppose Christianity. (See John 16:3.) Christians can stand strong in the face of such opposition.

*Christians can praise God even when they are afraid. (See Psalm 56:3-4.) We can trust God in the middle of trials and struggles.

*Following God may sometimes mean being in the minority. (See 2 Timothy 1:15.)

*Christians can continue to do good even when rewards are not immediate. (See Hebrews 11:39-40.)

*It is difficult to reach some countries with the gospel. Christians around the world witness boldly and in creative ways. (See Ephesians 6:19-20.)

The Voice of the Martyrs' Kids of Courage materials, many of them available for free download at www.kidsofcourage.com, provide resources to introduce these and other appropriate concepts to children.

VOM's Kids of Courage resources help parents and educators teach children ages 5 to 13 about persecuted Christians around the world, and provide opportunities for children to serve and pray for them.

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