Kidnapped missionaries released in India

By July 28, 2004

India (MNN) — While the Congress Party in India is giving Christians hope for religious freedom for the next five years, the reality is that radical Hindus continue to restrict it. That was evident this past weekend as five Gospel For Asia missionaries were kidnapped in the state of Karnataka.

Gospel For Asia’s President KP Yohannan says, “Five of our missionaries were kidnapped by extreme fundamentalists anti-Christian (thugs) and we were really concerned (about) what was going to happen to them.”

Yohannan says these Hindu extremists are taking a different approach to their attacks. “Since they can not directly attack Christian workers,” says Yohannan, “They are now finding a new way to persecute our missionaries by accusing them of stealing things, or causing trouble or whatever else. This was the disguise they used to kidnap these five missionaries.”

They were beaten severely. However, Yohannan says there is good news. “We just got news that the police intervened (the hire authorities) and these brothers were released,” he says.

While the local police did get involved, they’re not giving much help after the fact. Yohannan says, “Now I’ve learned that the police officers are telling our missionaries that they should move away from the community that they are working. They’re saying, ‘for your own safety you please leave this place.”

The believers told police that they forgave their abductors in Jesus name and they didn’t want charges filed. Pray that this response would be a testimony to these Hindus who want to hurt Christian outreach.

Yohannan says many Indian people are hungry for the Gospel. That’s why Gospel for Asia is printing Bibles. “We need to flood (India) with the word of God. One of our greatest needs right now is to produce at least 10 to 15 million Bibles in all the major languages. We have two printing presses working full time. It costs just $1 to produce four New Testaments, about $2 to produce a whole Bible,” says Yohannan.

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