Christians extorted by radical insurgent group in northern India

By March 9, 2005

India (MNN) — It’s an area where Christian work is scarce. But, the work is taking place and radical insurgents are threatening Christians in the region.

Gospel For Asia is asking Christian around the world to fast and pray for their work. GFA’s KP Yohannan says, “It’s a true life-and-death emergency. The largest and most sinister insurgent group in the Indian state has threatened to kill our leaders there and totally destroy our ministry among the people if we do not pay them an extortion demand of almost $186,000 (USD/Rs 8 million).”

The threat was issued in a letter on their official letterhead and stamped with their official seal, the insurgent commander warned GFA state leaders. “You are strictly warned that if you do not respect our organization or if you approach the [government], you will be calling for your total destruction.”

Gospel for Asia has been threatened several times by insurgent groups in this region of India before, where even the government is not in total control. GFA pastors have been killed by the insurgents in the past, and most other Christian missions have pulled out because of these threats.

Yohannan says, “Some Christian ministries have urged us to us to leave as well, but our leaders on the scene say that if we pull out, no one will be there to share the Gospel and minister to the people.”

Yohannan they’re not taking these threats lightly. “To enforce their demands, the insurgents have let me know that they have posted their assassins around our Bible colleges and other offices, and will kill our people if they try to leave.”

GFA has 5 Bible Colleges, 70 Bridge of Hope schools, and more than 750 congregations. These threats are being made because the church is growing in this region.

Negotiations have failed to bring any resolve so far. Yohannan says, “I ask you today to pray earnestly that God will change the hearts of these insurgent leaders, and that He will surround our leaders and their families with legions of angels to guard them. The insurgents have set a deadline of March 10 — this Thursday — to meet their demands. Please be in constant prayer as that day approaches.”

Leave a Reply