Christians vow to help Indian Christians in Orissa

By December 31, 2008

India (MNN) — Since August, it is believed more than 500 Christians were killed in radical Hindu violence against Christians. The attacks destroyed churches and homes. Thousands of Christians are displaced, some living in camps.

Founder and President of Gospel for Asia KP Yohannan says his ministry is making a commitment to these victims. "We have in Orissa a need to rebuild at least 1,000 homes of believers. Each home, they tell me, costs about $2,500 to build, [which includes] two rooms and a kitchen."

The great thing is India Christians aren't depending on western money to do the work. Yohannan says, "Our own churches, poor believers, are believing God to raise about 1 million dollars from all over the country — churches raising money to build these houses."

A poor economy isn't having an effect on their commitment, insists Yohannan. "Even though the economy is down and problems are there, there is a new beginning of ownership, compassion, caring and willingness to pay the price by the churches and the people of God on the subcontinent."

Yohannan says GFA needs to raise an additional $1.2 million to completely fund the project.

In an area where Christians are in the minority, Yohannan says this rebuilding project will speak loudly. "Jesus said, 'By this, all will know that you are Mine, if you love one another.' And what better way can we demonstrate to a community that does not know the Lord when we go and build 10, 15, 20 or 30 houses in the community."

While GFA has a number of priorities, Yohannan says, "The number one priority on our mind right now is to rebuild these houses next year. We don't want to lose one day on this issue because of the number of people involved."

Some reports indicate that these believers do not want to return. However, Yohannan says, "They all want to go back. I'm sure there are some that may be scared to death because their husband or wife was killed. But generally speaking, I'm hearing they all want to go back, but they have nothing to go back to."

Yohannan says government officials have committed to provide protection once these homes are rebuilt.

If you'd like to help GFA rebuild the homes of Christians in Orissa, click here.

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