India (MNN) — Church services in India are being conducted a bit differently these days, according to Tom Dudenhofer of Audio Scripture Ministries.
After hearing of several other disruptions created by mobs in the middle of church services, one church in Bangalore was forced to "make arrangements," says Dudenhofer. The church neither had nor has any plans to be aggressive, but the congregation has come up with a defense system in order to be left in peace while they worship.
"Just a few weeks ago," says Dudenhofer, "they told the women and the children that they needed to go and sit near the front of the church. And then all the men were supposed to take up standing positions at all the doorways and all the entrances to the church."
These men who encircle the church are there as more of a warning than anything else. The hope is that in a country where violence toward Christians is becoming expected, church services would still maintain some semblance of harmony.
Fortunately, the story does not end here. "We believe that this is really a critical time for the country of India," says Dudenhofer. "There still are tremendous open doors. "
One of these doorways is for a Christian radio station. ASM hopes to build a radio building in order to broadcast encouraging and growth-stimulating programs for local Christians. This is especially important because the literacy rate in India is so low. A radio broadcast would provide another means of teaching for those who can't read and for those who feel threatened in their church services.
For some, it may be hard to imagine going to church with the anticipation of hostility, but these faithful believers in Bangalore do it every Sunday. Pray for the safety of these believers, and for the radio building project, that it would bring hope to these devoted followers of Christ.