Abishek trusts in Jesus. That makes him a threat, according to the Hindu extremist movement, the RSS.
If we don’t strengthen the church in India now, there’s a real chance it won’t survive.
Every £30 could equip two Rapid Response teams for a month as they bring emergency aid to victims of violence.
Every £93 could provide ongoing practical help for three believers in India who have been persecuted for their faith.
When Christian families are attacked, Abishek, a local Open Doors partner, is there to help. He visits to encourage them and to provide practical support or legal assistance. One family that Abishek helped had lost their father, the breadwinner of the house.
“He was a strong believer,” says Abishek. “He used to distribute the Bibles. And he used to help the new believers and the poor believers in that area.”
This man came to the attention of the Naxalites, a militant Maoist group in the area. Extremist Hindus in remote areas co-ordinate with the Naxalites because the group is armed. Naxalites are known to kill Christians if instigated or bribed.
“At 4am, early in the morning, the Naxalites came from the jungle and took this man from his own home. They took him to the jungle and shot him. It was terrible to see. Such a heinous killing, so brutal. They killed this man of God.”
As the family grieved for their father, their own lives were still at risk. The Naxalites threatened to kill the family – his wife Jenita* and their three young children - if they went to the police to report what had happened.
Thanks to the gifts and prayers of Open Doors supporters, Abishek was able to help the family move to a safer home. He gave them food and will continue to support them. When the children reach school age, he will be able to provide their school fees.
He was also able to bring the family comfort and encouragement, and the knowledge that they’re not alone or forgotten. He says, “I went to that family and I cried with them, I encouraged them, I comforted them from the word of God. Jenita was telling me, ‘Thank you so much. Nobody has come like that and comforted us.’”
Abishek often provides a rapid response to emergencies like this, when Christians are attacked for their faith.
He says, “We help them if their house is burnt. We provide them with some help to really repair that house. If they have been beaten up then we take them to hospital and we provide them with good treatment. If they have been expelled from their village or from their home then we give them shelter by taking them into another village so they can be safe there.”
Abishek also says the comfort and care that he and other Open Doors local partners are able to bring by being with persecuted believers in person is really vital.
“We encourage them; we comfort them; we stand with them shoulder to shoulder and we share their sorrows.”
Rapid Response teams like Abishek’s can provide emergency help and support straight after an attack of persecution. Attacks on Christians in India are increasing: in the first three months of 2018, more instances of religious persecution were recorded than throughout the whole of 2014 or 2015. In response, Open Doors is aiming to double its impact in India through our local partners, reaching the most vulnerable people with persecution survival training, practical support and legal assistance.
This won’t be possible without prayers, donations and encouragement from our Christian family. Please give and pray today.
Strengthen the faith of Christians in India
India needs prayer now more than ever. Abishek says, “People should feel that this country is a blessed country. As it is written in the Bible, ‘Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord’ (Psalm 33:12).” You can pray regularly with Christians in India using our bi-monthly prayer diary.
Abishek risks his life to encourage persecuted believers in India: please write to encourage him. Send your message of encouragement to Open Doors partners in India here.