India (MNN) ― There have been several hundred reported incidents of anti-Christian violence in India this year.
Most of it has taken place at the hands of Hindu nationalists. As their movement grows, so too, do anti-conversion laws.
Grace Ministries International's Sam Vinton says it's beginning to have an impact on their teams. "Pastors feel more and more that they have to be careful of who they speak to, because of the possibility of someone coming and saying that they were trying to force people to become Christians."
A 'chilling effect' has hit many ministries, and the GMI team isn't immune to it. Vinton explains, "That has become a more serious issue, especially in some of the cities," but in the rural villages, it's a different story altogether.
Their teams find an incredible openness to the hope of the Gospel. Vinton urges prayer, not only for the safety, but also for the future growth of their ministry in India. "I think one thing we should pray for is boldness. I think that for Christians to be bold is certainly a biblical injunction--and take the consequences."
Aside from boldness, it's a sense of timing. God's hand, Vinton says, is moving. "I think that the other part of our prayer is that God would work in the hearts of our leaders to open up the possibilities for the freedom to share their faith."
In fact, the Hyderabad church had a day dedicated to celebrating and thanking the Lord for all that He has done for them as individuals and as a church.
Despite the risk, at their annual Bible conference, over 150 attended. The conference was a blessing to all and very much needed. A month later, a weekend conference in the church villages had nearly 500 people in attendance.
Ten adults made professions of faith in Christ. Please pray for these new believers.