India believers call for ‘Peace Day’

By August 13, 2009

India (MNN) — India's church
leaders are setting August 23 aside as "Peace Day." It commemorates the one-year anniversary of
the events that led up to months of violence targeting Christians in and around
Orissa State. 

According to Christian Post, participants will be involved in peace
marches, as well as in fasting and prayer vigils.  

The violence last year against
the Christian community left hundreds of houses burnt, churches razed, and families
injured. Hundreds died in the
hostilities, and thousands were forced out of their homes to the forests during
the four-month pogrom.

Although the trouble affected
their ministry and interrupted their work, Dave Stravers with Grand Rapids, Michigan-based Mission
India
says their team has been involved in the reconciliation
efforts which include the Children's Bible Clubs. 

The clubs provide training and
materials to their partners who are introducing Children's Bible Clubs in
their communities.

Unfortunately, trouble erupted at one of the clubs late
Tuesday. "About 100 people
gathered to receive training for our children's Bible clubs. And in the middle
of the night, a group of 20 barged into the place and just started beating
everyone. Nine people were seriously injured. They were taken to a police station, accused of making
conversions, and thrown in jail. Bail, at this point, is being refused." A hearing is not expected until at least Monday.

It costs $1 to introduce another boy or girl to Jesus through a
Children's Bible Club. According
to Mission India, one of every three
children in a Year-Long Club accepts Christ as Savior.   Even better, their research shows that one
of every three decisions for Christ through Year-Long Clubs is by the parents
of children in the Clubs.

In fact, every year, new churches
grow out of Children's Bible Clubs. Stravers
says with what's at stake, the ministry won't give up. "I think we need to pray for courage.
Jesus was always saying 'Do not be afraid.' Even in the context of telling us
that we were going to be persecuted, He said 'Do not fear.' 'Do not fear.' 'I am with
you.' So we need to pray that the workers will not be afraid, and that the work
will go ahead."

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