Christians in India are urgently asking for our prayers as they find themselves caught between two crises: pandemic and persecution. So we have set aside July to pray with them. There is much to pray into, but also much to be grateful for. Thank you – your prayers make such a difference and mean so much to your persecuted family. This is the second week of prayer points. All names have been changed for security reasons.
“Thank you so much for all your prayers, all your support, everything that you are doing for the persecuted church." – Open Doors local partner in India
In 2014, a leader of a large Hindu extremist group said that there will be no Christians left in India by 2021. Despite a rise in persecution in recent years, believers continue to courageously follow Jesus.
Ravi was killed because he refused to stop telling others about Jesus. “If needed I will die for Jesus, but I will never leave Him,” shares his wife, Sumi. “I will continue living here, and will continue the ministry of my husband.”
Praise God for the witness of believers like Ravi and Sumi, and ask the Lord to thwart the plans of extremists.
Vinita and her husband have faced constant harassment from their community since becoming Christians.
One day, Vinita was praying with her pastor’s family when Hindu extremists barged in. Vinita and the other believers were all seriously injured and were refused treatment at hospital by staff under pressure from the extremists. Thanks to you, they received treatment at a private hospital and are getting support as they file a case against their attackers.
Pray that the perpetrators will be brought to justice, and that Vinita, her pastor and their families will find strength in God’s comfort.
After refusing to stop sharing the gospel with others, despite threats, Gaurav was falsely accused of using fraudulent means to convert people to Christianity. He and two of his friends were imprisoned for four months.
It was a further three years before their innocence was proven, during which time they were ostracised by their community and deemed criminals. Open Doors local partners came alongside them to provide practical and legal aid.
Praise God that they have been cleared of charges, and pray that God will use our brothers’ persevering faith to help others.
When Aditi (16) and her parents became Christians, their community mocked and rejected them, whilst relatives withdrew financial support. Aditi was about to abandon her studies when you stepped in to pay her school fees.
Despite ongoing challenges, the family trusts in God. “It’s true that we need courage to trust in God. And that courage comes through prayer,” Aditi’s father shares.
Ask the Lord to build up Aditi through her studies, and pray that her relatives will receive Jesus as Lord.
Since starting a church a few years ago, which around 200 people now attend, Suraj has been closely watched by Hindu extremists. They are angry that people have left their traditional faith to go to his church. The hostility came to a head when they beat him for three hours, threatening further consequences unless he shuts the church.
Pray for protection of Suraj and his family, and that God will use the witness of the church to draw the extremists to the love of Jesus.
Praveen and his wife Shanti became Christians after God healed Shanti when a local pastor prayed for her. But their new faith led to hostility from the wider family, who refused to give Praveen land that he had inherited. The couple set up their own shop, but it didn’t make a profit – and then the pandemic hit. Today the shop is running well after you provided goods to fill their shelves. “I am so grateful for the kind help,” Shanti shares.
"It greatly encouraged our faith to know that there are others standing with us" 'Pastor Sameer'
Pray that the love shown to Praveen and Shanti will powerfully impact their family and community.
In the run up to local elections, Hindu extremists burned down the hut where a church led by Pastor Sameer gathered, accusing the Christians of embracing a ‘foreign’ religion and persuading people to vote against their Hindu political party.
With your help, the church has built a new place to meet. “It greatly encouraged our faith to know that there are others standing with us,” Pastor Sameer shares. “Since the church hall is bigger, even more people come to our church.”
Give thanks to God that He has made the church fruitful in the land of their suffering (Genesis 41:52).
Go on a sponsored walk to bring urgent Covid relief aid to Christians in India. Choose your location, and your distance. Walk alone, with friends or even your whole church.
Your support helps persecuted Christians continue to courageously follow Jesus.
Together, we can reach those where persecution hits hardest.