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India: Kusum is thankful for prayers, Neeraj and Ritu return home
11 August 2016
Open Doors' partners recently sent us updates on Kusum, a young widow who was threatened for her faith, and Neeraj and Ritu, a couple who were forced to flee their home by Hindu extremists, whose stories we have shared over the last few months.
Kusum: still alone, but faithful
In July we told the story of a 25-year-old widow from India who, after her husband and five-year-old son passed away, was blamed for their deaths and threatened with death by her father-in-law. Open Doors came alongside Kusum with aid to help her survive.
Kusum shared how thankful she was for those who had been praying for her. She and her ten-year-old son live in their own house, where her parents and siblings take turns staying with her.
Sadly for Kusum, the village is still very hostile towards Christians - nobody talks to her or the other believers. The only 'privilege' Kusum receives is that she's allowed to draw water from the well.
Her parents face discrimination, too. They are forced to cycle over 18 miles to work as no one will hire them because of their faith in Christ. Kusum is physically too weak to find a job so far outside the village - so her parents provide her with her daily living.
But despite these trials, she is still trusting in the Lord. Every Sunday, Kusum's family and the only other Christian family from her village faithfully walk to a place where they are allowed to worship, in a church over three miles away.
Please continue to pray for Kusum: thank God that she remains faithful to Him. Pray that she and her son - who misses his little brother a lot - would be supported and strengthened spiritually, emotionally and financially. Pray for her son's studies, her family's wellbeing and that her neighbours would become open to the gospel.
Prayers answered as Neeraj and Ritu return home
We also shared the story of a young Christian man from India who was ambushed by extremist Hindus and forced to renounce Christ. He later returned to his faith, but he and his wife, Ritu, were forced to flee their home.
Through local partners, Open Doors provided the couple with emergency assistance and legal advice. As a result, the local police have now spoken to the villagers, including the extremists who had attacked Neeraj, and it was agreed that the couple could safely go back to their home, which had been damaged by the extremists. With the help of our partners, they have now fixed their home and moved back in.
"When we first spoke to the couple, they asked if we could pray that the police would intervene so they could return home," said a local Open Doors partner. "That is precisely what happened. For this, Neeraj and Ritu are very grateful... Thank you for praying and financially supporting brave Christians like Neeraj and Ritu."
As well as having their prayers answered, a new season is about to begin for the couple.
"Neeraj and Ritu are well," said our partner. "In fact, the church offered to send them to a Bible college for theological studies."
Please lift up Neeraj and Ritu in your prayers as they prepare for Bible College. Pray that God would make this a fruitful season for the couple, and that God would move the Hindu extremists in their village to seek Him.
STAND WITH YOUR CHURCH FAMILY IN INDIA
Open Doors works through local partners in India to provide persecuted Christians with Bibles and Christian literature, holistic training, livelihood and community development, adult literacy programmes, vocational education, advocacy support, legal seminars, and urgent aid and relief.
- Pray. Lift up believers like Kusum, Neeraj and Ritu in your prayers and share their stories with your church.
- Give. Every £36 can equip a rapid response team of local volunteers for three weeks. This team helps to provide food, medical care and legal aid for victims of persecution.
- Speak out. The Indian constitution assures all citizens of the right to 'profess, practise and propagate any religion', yet Christians in India are frequently denied this right. Write to the Indian High Commission and urge them to raise these concerns with the Indian government.
More News from India:
- Pastor attacked with a sword and left for dead
- 'Firebrand' appointed Chief Minister in Uttar Pradesh
- Hindu nationalist party makes big gains in elections
- Churches warned to not celebrate Christmas
- Christian woman stripped and beaten to death
Find out more about persecution in India.