They demanded, “denounce Jesus Christ or else”. “Turn from Jesus Christ or we will harm your family”. What would you do? This is what is happening in many areas of Asia. Our Indian national pastors and leaders send us personal accounts of this happening and even newspaper articles concerning Christians being forced to make the decision of following Christ or else! The February 11, 2015 edition of the Hindustan Times e-paper headline read; “Between December 2013 and December 2014, about 7000 Christians faced threats, violence and displacement”. Just last week an Indian Newspaper posted; many Christians were converted to Hinduism in the name of a Movement called ‘Ghar Wapsi'(means Home Coming). In spite of continued opposition and persecution the CHURCH is standing strong and the Word of God is piercing the darkness. Here are a few examples: The Times of India newspaper December 26 headlines read; “We will not give up habit of Bible-reading, Hindus tell VHP”. “Around 70 Hindus have been gathering at a home on Sunday to read the Bible. They say it has helped some of them tackle their personal problems”. During the Christmas time our partners NF had a ministry outreach called; “Seizing the Opportunity” which they did from December 1st through 25th all over North India to reach a goal of 100,000 people with the Gospel. They had an open air program in 3 different places in Kolkata, also coworkers in Northern India reached thousands of people with the Gospel for the first time. Our leaders reported; “At Kolkata, we were amazed to see the openness among the people to know about who is Jesus? We realized that in today’s society, Christmas has been overshadowed by Santa, Cake, Coffee, Christmas tree’s etc. So we took this opportunity to make people know who is Jesus Christ. Not only are we still reaching out to those who are interested to learning more about Jesus, we are hopeful to start prayer cells in different PIN (zip) codes to reach more people. Another of our India leader’s wrote: “We had two outreach programs that we combined with Christmas and New Year’s celebrations in the Tea Gardens. One of the locations, there is a church to meet in and in the other location, 4 families meet and share. I will be traveling to Malda this month as we expand the ministry to our neighbors so please continue to pray as we make preparations to expand more programs this year. As part of our strategic plan, we are offering a business course called Micro-Finance to continue to train our leaders and church planters. In the face of opposition and persecution, our Indian brothers and sisters grow stronger. With this as our example I challenge us to STAND strong and do the same as our persecution is nothing compared to what they experience. Here is a small sample of their prayer request:
- Pray, for I am sure God is going to do a great thing in India where millions of knees will bow and tongue will confess the Jesus Christ is the Lord.
- Pray for Indian Christians as we are apprehensive of lots of opposition because some of fanatic wings of the present government has taken steps to wipe out Christianity from India by 31st December 2021.