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Write to Christians in India

India

Our brothers and sisters in India are keen to hear from you - and to know they are not forgotten - so please encourage them, especially after the results of the recent elections.

Stories from the persecuted church in India

Twenty-year-old Sita is from eastern India. She came to faith in 2015. Her parents are the main reason she accepted Christ into her life. They have been Christians since 2009, but, as they come from a Brahmin family (staunch Hindu upper caste, most of whom are devout Hindu priests), they felt they should keep their faith a secret - otherwise they would have been forced to leave their home.

After hearing about Christianity through friends in 2015, Sita and her elder sister decided to go to church. Sita read in the Bible that there are many gods and goddesses who cannot see, hear, speak or move - but that the living God is always alive and lives among us. She and her sister chose to believe in Jesus. Gradually, they started to share their faith with family members and all of them, except her older brother, started to attend church. But the neighbours started watching them. Soon, the family met with strong opposition and were socially boycotted. People stopped dealing with them; women hurled abuse at Sita’s mother and men verbally abused her father and blamed him for defiling the community. Fortunately, no physical violence ever occurred.

Today, Sita and her family are isolated, and their only social circle is the church believers. After finishing school, Sita decided to study theology and is currently pursuing her theological education at a reputable Bible school in a nearby city.

Guidelines for writing to persecuted Christians in India

Sita’s story is an example of how life is for many Christians in India – so please don’t write specifically to her. Instead, please address your message to: ‘Dear sister’ or ‘Dear brother’ or ‘Dear brothers and sisters’. That way, we can send messages of encouragement to many different Christians, e.g. a father, a mother, a pastor, a student. Your message or video might even be shared in a meeting where persecuted Christians are gathered together.

Example messages

Dear brother,
I’m sorry to hear how hard life is for you in your country and pray that God will give you His strength. Like everyone else, I have had my struggles in life but I’ve discovered that the Lord sticks closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:4). Never forget that you are part of a worldwide family that loves Jesus. I am part of a prayer group and a church that will be praying for you.
Mary

Hi,
My name is Cerys and I’m 21. I’m sending you a picture. It reminds me of how, when I felt I was alone, God was actually holding me in the palm of His hands. He sees everything that is happening to you and His eyes are upon your life. May God’s love shine on you (Luke 1:78-9).

Dear brothers and sisters in India,
It’s a privilege to be able to write to you and share fellowship. We follow the same Lord, are bound by the same Spirit, and pray the same prayer He taught us. I pray that His kingdom will come in India, His will be done, and that He will deliver you from evil. To Him be the glory, for ever and ever. Amen!
Peter (53)

Using the guidelines below, please send your digital message to this address: messagestoindia@opendoorsuk.org

Do

  • Send any messages, images, or recordings digitally to: messagestoindia@opendoorsuk.org
  • Looking for inspiration? You could send:
    • a photo of an object or image with a Bible verse
    • a photo of a hand-drawn self-portrait
    • a short video with captions
    • a short audio message, e.g. yourself or a group, talking or singing
  • Keep messages as simple and as personal as possible. Explain why you feel for people suffering for their faith in India. For instance, think of a time when you were sad or worried, and how God helped you at this time. Or take an idea from a Bible story or verse that means something to you.

Don’t

  • Please don’t send physical drawings or messages as we won’t be able to pass them on
  • For security reasons, please don’t send photos or videos that include children’s faces. Instead, you could take photos of hands praying or heads from behind. Alternatively, hold up a sign with a message, e.g. ‘We’re praying for you’. Or use beautiful images from God’s creation.
  • Please don’t use pre-recorded music as this will infringe copyright and performing rights laws.
  • Please don’t direct your messages towards any individual you have read about in Open Doors communications. These messages are intended to be shared more than once in different settings, e.g. at events or meetings where persecuted Christians are gathered together.

Most importantly…

  • Do not mention Open Doors in any messages
  • First name only, please - don’t include your surname or address
  • Do not send money or make offers of help
  • Do not mention anything to do with the news, religion, politics or government of India.

Thank you!