(MNN) — The attacks on believers in India are growing more vicious. David Shibley with Global Advance reports, "One of our pastors who has helped in the
coordination of our Global Advance events in Northern India, Pastor Victor, was
brutally beaten for his faith in Christ. He is now in a coma."
Sadly, his situation is not uncommon
for those who share the Gospel in India. According to Voice of the Martyrs Canada, reports
of violence against believers, village churches being destroyed, and church
leaders being threatened by local Hindus continue to be a daily reality in
their last conference, Shibley wanted to know how many of the pastors were
risking physical harm by continuing to preach the Gospel. "Of the 500 pastoral leaders who attended
that conference, around 80 are presently experiencing some kind of persecution
or direct threat."
Often, their families are
threatened. Other persecution faced by
Christians is more subtle, as converts to Christianity often face social ostracism
and are denied shelter and work. The strain of the harassment wears on a
family. Often, it leads to great
discouragement for the church leaders.
They feel forgotten, isolated and abandoned.
urges believers elsewhere to keep the Christians in India before the
throne. Keep praying for the strength of
the evangelists and church leaders.
has proven that "they're going to
respond with courage. They're going to be faithful." Shibley says that Pastor Victor's church has
no plans to stop ministering in their community. In fact, even though Pastor Victor remains
hospitalized, "I would suspect that
Pastor Victor's church will experience pretty significant growth, if not dramatic
that the Christians in India would not be intimidated, but "that they will
winsomely and boldly continue to share their faith and experience
the dramatic growth that we've seen over the last 20 years."
Pray that militant influences in
the government will continue to decrease and that freedom of religion will be recognized
throughout India. Ask God to protect
the pastors, evangelists and other Christian workers as they share the Good
News of Jesus. Pray also that those who turn to Christ will find the means to have
their needs met.