Asia (MNN) — Although their Christmas celebrations went smoothly, some missionaries supported by Gospel for Asia experienced anti-Christian harassment in the aftermath.
In one area, many people benefited from Gospel for Asia's Christmas Gift Catalog program. Families were blessed with gifts of sewing machines and blankets and were filled with joy over the items they had received.
Despite the happy feelings, an anti-Christian extremist group was angered by the gifts. "By distributing blankets and machines, you are forcing people to convert to Christianity," one extremist told a GFA pastor.
The extremist group regularly harasses believers in the pastors' church.
Elsewhere, a GFA missionary received threats after hosting a Christmas party. Benila Donram and her husband hosted a Christmas party earlier in the month to worship and celebrate the birth of Christ. It was well enjoyed by everyone who came.
Despite the generally warm reception associated with the party, Donram's father-in-law was outraged. Offended that Donram and her husband had not thrown a celebration in honor of his traditional faith instead, he threatened to force the couple into hosting another party to celebrate his religion.
Pray that the couple would not be forced into doing anything against their will, and that they instead would be given an opportunity to share the love of Christ with Donram's father-in-law.
Pray also for the first group of harassed Christians. Pray that those who received the catalog gifts would indeed come to faith in Jesus Christ, not because of gifts but because of the overwhelming love and power of the Lord. Pray that the extremists would not react in violence beyond words, and that they, too, would come to know the Lord. Pray that the missionaries in the area would have wisdom in how to deal with the situation peacefully.