What would you do if your family refused to speak to you? Or even look at you? That was 15-year-old Tara’s* punishment for choosing to follow Jesus. She was the only Christian in her family – and, while she was permitted to live at home, her family decided to treat her as an outcast.
What would you do if your family refused to speak to you? Or even look at you?
That was 15-year-old Tara’s* punishment for choosing to follow Jesus. She was the only Christian in her family – and, while she was permitted to live at home, her family decided to punish her in other ways.
They treated her as though she was toxic. They stopped speaking to her and refused even to eat food that she had cooked. “Everything, even water, would become impure if you would even touch it,” they said.
And so, Tara became an outcast in her own home.
“There are 15 rooms in the house. But because I choose to follow Jesus, I am given a small separate room,” she said. “Nobody comes into my room and nobody even touches me or looks at me.”
Even though they were well-off, Tara’s family refused to pay her school fees or her living costs, so Tara had to work as a day-labourer to survive.
The price of Tara’s choice to follow Jesus is one that many Christians in India pay – particularly those who convert from Hinduism. The Indian ruling party believes that to be Indian is to be Hindu. This results in growing levels of persecution, which can take the form of highly visible, violent attacks, or more hidden forms of oppression or maltreatment like the kind of ‘house arrest’ that Tara had to endure.
Tara stayed strong and now, thanks to Open Doors supporters, her life has changed. Our staff found her a place in a good school with a hostel. Some of the staff members are Christian and are looking after her.
She said, "I am very thankful for all your help, now I can concentrate on my studies. I do not have to struggle to earn money for my survival."
Despite what happened to her, Tara refuses to give up. "I know that Jesus is the true God. I can never substitute Him for anything. Nothing can compare to the peace I have received in Him."
Open Doors has recently heard that Tara has contracted typhoid and malaria. Open Doors partners are helping her and in constant contact - please pray that she has a quick and full recovery from these illnesses and knows God's presence with her.
*Name changed for security reasons
Lord, we can barely imagine what it’s like to follow You in a country so oppressive as North Korea – but thank You that You are sovereign and victorious despite this. Please continue to grow Your church and give solace to Christians who are in prison, courage to those who are secret believers and protection to Open Doors secret workers providing Bibles and vital support. Break the power of evil in North Korea, we pray.
Children in Christian families often face discrimination, exclusion and even violence. Children who attend church might be ostracised by their Hindu family. Receiving messages from the worldwide church can make a huge difference – can you and your family send them encouragement?Send message