India (MNN) ― The attacks on believers in India are growing more vicious. David Shibley with Global Advance reports, “One of our pastors who has helped in the coordination of our Global Advance events in Northern India, Pastor Victor, was brutally beaten for his faith in Christ. He is now in a coma.”
Sadly, his situation is not uncommon for those who share the Gospel in India. According to Voice of the Martyrs Canada, reports of violence against believers, village churches being destroyed, and church leaders being threatened by local Hindus continue to be a daily reality in India.
At their last conference, Shibley wanted to know how many of the pastors were risking physical harm by continuing to preach the Gospel. “Of the 500 pastoral leaders who attended that conference, around 80 are presently experiencing some kind of persecution or direct threat.”
Often, their families are threatened. Other persecution faced by Christians is more subtle, as converts to Christianity often face social ostracism and are denied shelter and work. The strain of the harassment wears on a family. Often, it leads to great discouragement for the church leaders. They feel forgotten, isolated and abandoned.
Shibley urges believers elsewhere to keep the Christians in India before the throne. Keep praying for the strength of the evangelists and church leaders.
History has proven that “they’re going to respond with courage. They’re going to be faithful.” Shibley says that Pastor Victor’s church has no plans to stop ministering in their community. In fact, even though Pastor Victor remains hospitalized, “I would suspect that Pastor Victor’s church will experience pretty significant growth, if not dramatic growth.”
Pray that the Christians in India would not be intimidated, but “that they will winsomely and boldly continue to share their faith and experience the dramatic growth that we’ve seen over the last 20 years.”
Pray that militant influences in the government will continue to decrease and that freedom of religion will be recognized throughout India. Ask God to protect the pastors, evangelists and other Christian workers as they share the Good News of Jesus. Pray also that those who turn to Christ will find the means to have their needs met.