Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year.
I love listening to Christmas carols and singing along with all my heart. Can you imagine living in a land where you are not allowed to sing a Christmas carol or simply listen to one, even in your own home?
That’s what Christmastime looks like for people living in much of the world.
In one part of India in 2006, Christmas carolers were arrested.
In Iran, children only have the opportunity to sing songs of praise a few times a year when they are taken someplace where no one can overhear them.
For me, part of keeping Christ in Christmas means remembering those who are not free to celebrate—or even acknowledge—Christmas publicly.
But how can we do that as a family, and is there a way to help young children understand and remember without burdening them with harsh details? The answer may surprise you. There are a number of ways you can do this as a family this Christmas. You may even want to consider creating new holiday traditions to remember the persecuted each year with your family.
Here are some of the ways I have found:
1) There is an incredible collection of free downloadable activity books written for elementary-age children by the Voice of the Martyrs. The series is called Bold Believers, and they are available on the Kids of Courage website. These books talk about daily life as well as persecution in an age-sensitive way.
2) You can send letters as a family to persecuted Christians. Moms and Dads, I encourage you to visit Prisoner Alert, also a ministry of the Voice of the Martyrs. There is content on this site not suitable for children, but there is much on the website you can learn and share with your children. There is also a way to write a letter to a persecuted and imprisoned Christian. Your family writes the letter in English, choosing from a list of phrases and Bible verses. The letter is simultaneously translated into the Christian prisoner’s native language. You then print the letter and mail it from your local post office. There is no charge beyond that of the postage (typically a little over $1.)
4) Hang an ornament on your Christmas tree that remembers Christians in other lands. This could be an ornament from a restricted nation or an ornament such as a world globe or any other symbol that will remind you and your family to pray.
5) Give a gift in honor of a loved one through an organization that supports Christians in restricted or hostile nations.
Check out more creative ways that you can Keep Christ in Christmas this year.
The ways you can support persecuted Christians is truly endless. Above all, they ask us to pray for them. What are some ways you and your family can remember the persecuted this Christmas? Share your thoughts in the comments below.