Christians expect persecution — outside the west

By January 5, 2011

India (MNN) — In the West, Christians pray for safety, traveling mercies, religious freedom, and other similar requests. However, outside the West, Christians pray for boldness, Satan to be bound, and that they wouldn't be afraid to share their faith.

According to Daniel Punnose with Gospel for Asia, while believers aren't asking for persecution, they understand. "They're the ones saying that the Lord is using this actually for good. And more people are coming to know the love of Christ. More want to know why they went through this persecution, and the Gospel is being shared because of that," said Punnose.

Punnose says in Asia, many have no Christian roots. "Someone who wants to become a follower of Jesus Christ, and wants to follow what God's Word says, already knows that persecution is what awaits them. They expect it. It comes with the package." That's a foreign concept to many Christians in the West.

That's also why graduates of the GFA Bible schools and seminary take a pledge to die for Christ.

Punnose says even in the midst of persecution, Christians are a witness. "Many times the people who were the ones who initiated the persecution sometimes are the first ones to realize Christ's love. It's pretty amazing to see that."

While a few states in India have passed anti-conversion legislation, Punnose says that's not stopping people from turning to Christ. It's making Christianity more mysterious. "They're very curious why certain things are being passed against Christians." So they start asking questions about Christ. That provides a platform for evangelism. And many respond.

GFA's Bridge of Hope program for kids also provides an opportunity for sharing the Gospel. "These kids get a hot meal a day, are helped with their homework, and are able to go to school; and they're taught about the love of Christ. We've seen entire families change."

If you'd like to sponsor a child in the Bridge of Hope program, click here.

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