India blast an act of cowardice; missionaries facing new challenge,

By February 21, 2007

India
(MNN) — Kashmir leaders have roundly
condemned the 'Friendship train' bombings that killed 68 people three days
ago.  Twin blasts hit Samjhauta
"peace train" near Panipat in the northern Indian state of Haryana.

Terrorists are accused of blowing up the train to create
tension between India and Pakistan.  Yet oddly, that could unite the former
adversaries and push them toward peace. There is talk of  India's
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visiting Islamabad
soon. That trip that was put on indefinite hold after serial bomb blasts on
trains in Mumbai last July killed close to 200 people and injured more than
300.

Attention is focusing on a resolution through the
conflict.  Indeed, some government
officials believe the only way forward is through the conflict.  There appears to be some movement toward
long-term solution talks.  An
India-Pakistan anti-terror panel created last year to address such issues was
scheduled to meet in Islamabad
next month.

However, Operation
Mobilization's
Sam Paul says that's made a tough situation even worse
for their teams.  "It's very
difficult to do any missionary work in the Kashmir
area.  It gets tough for both the Indian
missionaries and the foreign missionaries. [There's] Not much Christian
activity, because the government is taking care of the terrorism that is on the
ground." 

Travel is becoming increasingly difficult.  In the best case scenario, it is still
possible to get around.  India ordered
high security for all Pakistan-bound trains and buses. India's
state-run railways, which employ nine million people, will soon introduce
"airport-style" check-ins and stringent baggage handling.

However, there are often other problems that arise when the
government is specifically targeting anti-Indian movements or terrorists.  Sometimes the definition of who they're
looking for is painted with too broad a stroke, and Christians find themselves
being singled out.

Paul urges prayer for missionaries in India facing
similar circumstances.  "Pray that
the country would continue to be open to the Gospel and we also think of
several states in north India
where anti-conversion laws are being enacted. 
These laws terrorize the Christian community.  Pray that there will be wisdom to those that
are in these particular states."

Leave a Reply