India (MNN) – On October 25, an IED was found in the trash bin at a church in northeast India, a region nestled between Bangladesh and Nepal. Authorities were immediately called, and the bomb was neutralized. Bibles For The World’s President John Pudaite and his wife were at the church during the bomb’s discovery. They had been participating in a volunteer cleanup.
“In this very small village church, in the rural countryside, they were getting ready to burn some of the trash. They had picked up and they lifted up a container and said ‘Wait a minute. This is too heavy.’…They emptied the container and discovered an improvised explosive device that had been placed…under some trash. [It was] designed to do as much damage as possible to whoever happened to be in the vicinity when that bomb would go off,” Bibles For The World’s Jeff McLinden says.
The plastic package was stuffed with nuts, bolts, blasting caps, and powder. McLinden says the location where this took place is an area previously very resistant to the Gospel. This incident is just one example of the resistance the Gospel is facing in this area.
Church Growth In India
Bible For The World has a heavy focus in the northeast region of India. This is because Bibles For The World’s President John Pudaite’s father lived there. However, despite the traditional resistance to the Gospel, churches have recently been planted among the Meitei people in Manipur.
“We’re beginning to see the fruit of the Gospel, but we’re also beginning to see increased resistance to the Gospel in this location in India,” McLinden says.
McLinden notes how attacks on religious locations like churches are happening everywhere, both in the United States and India. Christians in various countries are learning to navigate ways to stays safe, but also keep an open door for Christ.
Be Prayerful, Be Active
In India, the overall statistics for religious affiliation regarding Christianity stays around 2 percent. However, McLinden says the statistics for Christian affiliation in the northeast region of India is between 38 to 40 percent.
“It’s the northeastern states where tribalism is still very strong. But the Gospel has gone forward in so many ways that it’s just a growing force in that part of the country. These pockets of militant Hinduism and so forth that are resistant to the Gospel being able to go forth, it’s showing up in these kinds of ways,” McLinden explains.
McLinden says there have been church burnings and beatings in this area. However, the attempted bombing is the first serious incident involving Bibles For The World.
Please join us in praying for the Christians and churches in the northeast region of India. Ask the Holy Spirit to make us aware of the needs and challenges facing our brothers and sisters in Christ. Also, pray for insight on the threats facing believers there.
“[Pray] for protection the Christian believers and the Christian workers who are in these areas and second of all that they have boldness to share their faith in love and that it not become a matter of militant-ism [sic] on either side, but an opportunity for us to clearly explain the Gospel, to clearly show and demonstrate God’s love that was so great that he makes his salvation available to all.”
Header photo is a representative photo, courtesy of Bibles for the World.