Christians in India have been suffering from a variety of trials. In recent months, numerous Christians have faced legal action for practicing their faith. Some have been beaten and others killed as a result of their faith in Christ.
I am reminded of James 1:2–4, which says, “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”
While the Indian constitution guarantees freedom of religion, there are six states which have laws against “forced conversions.” Often, these types of laws are specifically used to target Christians.
In one local church where many have come to Christ, there are three men and two women that are very active in evangelizing to those around them. They are subsistence farmers and they work hard to feed their families. Udhaykumar and Meenakshi have two toddlers, a boy and girl, and they reach out to other families. Basavaraju and his wife, Rathna, as well as Yogesh are all local evangelists who share the gospel with others, pass out gospel tracts and hold prayer services in their homes. They do this on a daily basis and as a result of their faithfulness and patience, many are coming to Christ.
Radical Hindus in the area have taken notice and become upset. On Feb. 4, after the group complained to police because the three families were spreading Christianity and converting people, local police filed charges and began searching for the evangelists to arrest them. As a result, they have had to go into hiding while they wait for bail to be set. A lawyer is helping the three families and has gone to local authorities to try to bring action against those who accused the evangelists but had no proof.
Not long ago in another part of India, Pastor Philip was at a house where Christians had met for worship services. Radicals became angered and attacked the Christians, causing injury to the pastor, six men, three women, and a 7-year-old girl. Police were called and although the injured were taken to the hospital, charges were still filed against the Christians. The radical group also threatened the Christians by telling them that they would burn the house and kill the people there if caught worshipping God again.
By all recent accounts, they have not given up. They continue to have faith in Jesus Christ and know that what they are doing matters. These brothers and sisters are living testimonies of what it means to “fall into various trials” and still count it all joy and continue their work.
“Ann Kay” is a writer for VOM. She learned about VOM five years ago when she read Tortured for Christ and began receiving the newsletter. She is passionate about reaching the world for Christ and sharing stories of the persecuted church.
Media reports early this week stated that Australian Christian John Short has been expelled from North Korea after being detained there last month, allegedly for distributing Christian literature while visiting the secretive nation as a tourist.
North Korea’s official media reported that Short was released “thanks to the tolerance of the law of the DPRK and in full consideration of his age.” Short is 75.
THANK YOU for praying for John Short and his family during the time of his detention. His wife Karen has publicly said how much the prayers of God’s people around the world meant to her. Please continue to pray for Christians in North Korea, especially those suffering in the country’s notorious labor camps.
Prior to leaving Pyongyang on a flight for Beijing, China, Short was required to read out loud and sign a statement of apology, including a statement that, “I wanted more Korean people to be Christians therefore I secretly spread Bible tracts written by me.”
In his first public comments after being released Short said he was interrogated for two hours each morning and two more hours each afternoon during his detention. He also said he was kept under guard in a room and not allowed to go out at all.
We will post updates about Mr. Short’s condition on www.Persecution.com as more information becomes available.