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Category Archives: India

More from International Christian Concern:
According to The Observer not only are Christians homes being burned down in the state of Orissa, but Christians are now  being forced to convert to Hinduism or die. At least 59 people have died, nearly 50,000 are homeless and thousands of homes and churches have been burned to the ground within the last two months. One 32 old woman and mother said that neighbors told her “If you go on being a Christian, we will burn your house and your children in front of you, so make up your mind quickly.” Reluctantly she gave in. Totally broken she says “Inside I am still praying for Jesus to give me peace and to take me out of this situation.”   About half of the Christians of one village converted to Hinduism and the rest fled to the jungle to escape.
 
Pray for the Christian families to be rescued from this terrible situation and find peace in their hearts.
Pray that the homeless Christians living in the jungle will find shelter and food.
Pray against the powers of darkness over India, and for Jesus to make Himself known to the suffering church of India.
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I received the following email update from Partners International today.  If you would like to create an account to receive their email updates, click here. 

Perhaps you have heard news of the atrocities happening to believers in the Indian state of Orissa. These people are some of the poorest in the world. They live in makeshift houses and are day laborers working the fields for rich landlords. Over the past several weeks, an estimated 17,000 of them have fled their villages for safety in the jungles. This is the second wave of attacks by Hindu radicals in the last year. But this time is far worse. Many homes were burned, an undetermined number of people were killed, and several hundred churches destroyed.

Radical Hindus are angry because Indians are turning to Christ. Violent mobs try to force the Christians to recant their faith and if they don’t, they are killed or forced out of their village and their homes destroyed.

Several of our ministry partners work in the very region where the worst atrocities are happening. One of them, Mr. P, travels throughout the state encouraging other church planters and community development workers. The attacks usually come during the night, so every evening about 5 p.m. he takes his wife and two young children to the jungle where they spend the night, returning after sunrise the next morning. He is sure that if they stayed at home, he and his family would be murdered. Just a few days ago, Mr. P phoned our ministry partner very shaken up saying, “Our neighboring family was brutally murdered last night and we are in terror every moment.”

Another ministry partner had just finished helping local Christians start a day-care center and school for 100 children who had not had an opportunity to attend school before. The school had only been open a month when on Sunday morning, September 7, a mob of more than 200 people entered the village and stopped the worship service. They kidnapped two school volunteers and marched them through town, kicking and beating them on the way. They took them to the panchayat (village council) and demanded to know why within six months 600 to 800 people had been baptized. (The deception told is that Christians bribe Hindus into converting to Christianity.) After lodging their complaint against the Christians, they released the volunteers. The mob returned to the day-care center and looted a month’s worth of food and supplies before burning it to the ground.

These two examples are mild compared to other atrocities, including rape and burning people alive. Would you please pray for believers in Orissa? In addition, we would like to help these believers financially. Will you help provide funds for them to purchase basic supplies? Our immediate goal is to help 500 families in the worst-hit district of Orissa at a cost of $500 per family.

These believers have chosen not to forsake Christ, and some have lost everything but their lives. Will you stand with them, maybe even take on one family, with your gift today?

Thank you for your care for our persecuted brothers and sisters in India and around the world.

Under His Wings,
Jon Lewis
President/CEO

Partners International
1117 E. Westview Court
Spokane, WA 99218 USA
(800) 966-5515
http://www.partnersintl.org/welcome/
http://www.harvestofhope.org/welcome/index.php

Partners International is a global ministry that works to create and grow
communities of Christian witness in partnership with God’s people in the least Christian regions of the world.

There have been fresh attacks against Christians in India – the latest in a series of incidents highlighting the pressures facing Christians from Hindu militants.Reports have come in that two attacks took place yesterday (June 12) in Andhra Pradesh. Hindu militants, allegedly from the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party), attacked a group of pastors holding a conference.The pastors had gathered in Badrachalam in premises rented out to them by the Temple.During a morning prayer time, extremists attacked the pastors. But instead of arresting the militants, the police arrested 15 Christian pastors, who are now on bail.
The same day, in Hyderabad, a pastor and another man were attacked by Hindu activists, who accused them of forcing Hindus to convert to Christianity.Pastor John Mohan has been threatened by extremists to stop preaching Christianity in the area. On June 12 they accused him along with another man of forcing people to become Christians. The irony is that the co-accused is not even a Christian. He is a vehicle inspector who refuses to take bribes to illegally certify that vehicles are safe for use. Observers believe the charge of forced conversion was levelled against him to remove him from his position. The man, Ramesh Babu, is a friend of the pastor. When extremists confronted the pastor and the vehicle inspector, they blocked the road to prevent police dispersing them. They are demanding a halt to all Christian activities in the area and the suspension of the vehicle inspector.On June 1 militants burst into a morning church service in Chhattisgarh state. They destroyed furniture and accused the congregation of forcing Hindus to convert to Christianity. They threatened them to stop worshipping Christ. On May 27, militants beat a pastor with iron rods on his way home from a prayer meeting. They accused him of forcing Hindus to convert to Christianity. The day before (May 26) militants demolished a thatched church in Andhra Pradesh.Last Christmas, militants killed four Christians and burned 730 homes and 95 churches in Orissa.‘The dreadful list of attacks against Christians goes on,‘ says Andy Dipper, CEO of Release International, which supports the persecuted Church. ‘Our partners in India report murder, destruction and intimidation of Christians. And making matters worse is the growing number of states passing anti-conversion laws.‘Ostensibly to prevent forced conversion, these have become an extremists’ charter, and are being used to try to silence Christian witness. Please pray for our brothers and sisters in India.’ To read this article in it’s original format click here

International Christian Concern releases a yearly report on the ten countries most guilty of persecuting Christians.  Please read it, pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ, and pray for those persecuting them. 

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven.” (Matt. 43-45, ESV)

I recently received this email update from Voice of the Martyrs: 

“On April 1, an anti-conversion law passed in 2003, in Gujarat State, India, came into effect, increasing Christians’ concerns that it will encourage false accusations by Hindu extremists. According to VOM sources, “The law is supposed to curb religious conversions made by ‘force,’ ‘fraud’ or ‘allurement.’ However, Christians and human rights groups believe that the law actually obstructs all conversions, as Hindu extremists invoke it to harass Christian workers with arrests and imprisonments, which are often accompanied with violence against the accused.” The law dictates that any person who intends to convert must notify the government or they will be declared an offender and prosecuted under criminal laws. It also stipulates that those convicted of “forcible conversion” could be jailed for up to three years. Anti-conversion laws are now enforced in five Indian states-Gujarat, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Himachal Pradesh-and have been passed, but are yet to be implemented in Arunachal Pradesh and Rajasthan. Ask God to strengthen Christian workers in Gujarat as they face more opposition in serving the Lord. Pray the faithfulness of Indian Christians will be a light that draws many to the love of Christ. Matthew 5:14-16

To receive the updates, visit Voice of the Martyrs’website, http://persecution.com/  and click on “Sign Up Today” under “Why Should I Sign Up?”. 

The following was taken from Compass Direct News http://www.compassdirect.org/en/display.php

 Believing that his brother’s Christian faith was black magic that resulted in the death of his teenage daughter, a tribal villager in Dhar district, Madhya Pradesh state on April 3 killed Thakur Sing Bhil with an arrow shot to the chest, relatives said. Bhil, also known as Thakur Baba, was a Christian leader from Gatiya Dev village who had faced opposition from relatives after converting to Christianity. He was estimated to be 55 years old. Relatives said his brother Mangar Singh, 45, entered his house in a drunken rage at noon and shot an arrow into this chest from close range. “My husband’s younger brother, Mangar Singh, had a 17-year-old daughter who died about three months ago because of ill health, and he blamed us for he thought that the conversion of my husband and his praying were responsible for his daughter’s death,” Bhil’s wife Inda Pasaha Bhil told Compass. “He somehow misunderstood our belief and prayers to be black magic of some kind, and since he was always opposed to our embrace of Christianity, it further infuriated him.” Relatives said police had arrested Singh, but because of poor communications infrastructure Compass was not immediately able to obtain a police account of the incident.

REWA, India, March 27 (Compass Direct News) – Hindu extremists in a village in Madhya Pradesh who have harassed and threatened local Christians beat the grandparents and aunt of a 15-year-old girl last weekend when the Christian family refused to allow the group to rape her. Shouting anti-Christian slogans and curses while drunk, nine members of the Hindu extremist Bajrang Dal on Saturday (March 22) arrived at the home of Brij Gopal Saket in Bahera village, Rewa district, and demanded that he turn over his daughter Urmila so they could abuse her. “I pleaded and reminded them that we are brothers from the same village and community,” Saket told Compass. “They deterred not, and told me that by becoming a Christian I am no more of their community.” The intolerant Hindus – who have threatened to kill other members of the community unless they stop worshipping Christ – got hold of Saket’s parents and sister while they were still outside and beat them with rods, sticks and stones, breaking his mother’s nose. Area members of the Bajrang Dal have continually harassed Christian women and denied Christians access to water from a government-installed hand-pump.

For more information please visit: http://www.compassdirect.org/en/display.php?page=news&lang=en&length=long&idelement=5310&backpage=&critere=&countryname=&rowcur=

I received the following in an email update from Voice of the Martyrs on April 1.  To receive the updates, visit http://www.persecution.com/ or click on Voice of the Martyrs in the Blogroll; then click on “VOM’s weekly Email Updates” under “Why Should I Sign Up?”. 

“MAHARASHTRA– On March 23, Sister Mercy Tuscano and Sister Philomena D’Mello were attacked by more than 49 Hindu extremists in Alibaug, Maharashtra, for allegedly converting tribal groups to Christianity. The nuns were injured in the attack, which included women who are followers of a spiritual leader in the area. Both nuns were treated in the hospital and have since been released. They are members of a non-governmental organization that extends humanitarian services such as AIDS awareness to tribal groups in the region. Pray for the recovery of the two nuns from their injuries. Ask the Lord to strengthen Indian Christians to continue serving the Lord despite facing pressure for their faith.

RAJASTHAN– On March 20, the governing Bharatiya Janata Party in Rajasthan state passed a new “anti-conversion” bill that has stricter provisions than the previous bills passed in 2006. The new bill states that a society or trust found to be “contemplating” the use of money for converting people can have its registration canceled. Christians fear that this stipulation will provide the pretext for numerous complaints against Christian organizations. The bill also dictates that any person who intends to convert must send a notice to the government at least 30 days in advance or face a fine of up to 1,000 rupees (US $25). Isaiah 54:17″

I received this email update from Voice of the Martyrs; if you would like to subscribe to the updates, follow this link:  http://www.persecution.com/.  Then click on “VOM’s weekly Email Updates” under “Why Should I Sign Up?”. 

“On April 6, Hindu extremists stopped a Gideon International New Testament distribution in Bhubaneswar in Orissa State. According to The Voice of the Martyrs contacts, “New Testaments were being given to college students that were leaving the Examination Center at the Central School. These students had just completed their medical school entrance examinations. Realizing the New Testaments were being given openly to the students, local Hindus demanded the group stop the distribution.” VOM contacts added, “When the members of Gideons ignored these requests, more Hindus began to intervene. After distributing 390 New Testaments, the mob became irate and began to manhandle the Gideons, demanding they leave. They were forced to pack up the New Testaments and leave immediately. As they were packing up, the mob was able to take 10 New Testaments and set fire to them in the street. A few members of Gideons sustained minor injuries.” Please pray the students that have received the New Testaments would put their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Also, pray for those injured in this attack and for God’s Word to go forth without disturbance in this area of India. Isaiah 54:14 “

Also, pray for the Hindus who stopped the distribution, that the Holy Spirit will lead them to see the truth of Jesus Christ. 

From Partners International:

  “March 2008 – Several weeks ago, we reported about the militant Hindu uprising against Christians during the Christmas 2007 holidays in the Indian State of Orissa. Many Christians were killed or wounded, and many churches and homes and everything in them were completely destroyed.”

 To read about how Joshua Vision India’s Orissa Development Project is helping students to recover from the attacks, and for ideas on how to pray for the Christians in Orissa, visit http://www.partnersintl.org/news/article.php?id=303