More religious violence in India’s Orissa State

By August 28, 2008

India (MNN) — Authorities issued
shoot-on-sight orders in Orissa to forcibly quell the religious tensions
between Hindus and Christians. Rival
groups from both communities attacked each other on Wednesday, despite a
curfew.

We spoke with a ministry leader
who works with Grand Rapids, Michigan-based Mission India.  For security reasons, we have not named
him. 

He says the impact of the situation undermines much of their momentum. "Where we had programs, the Christians are no longer living there.
In cases where they haven't fled, there is enough fear created where it will be
a while before they have the courage to gather together–whether it be in a
church service, or children's program, or in the evening with our literacy
classes."

Because Mission India believes India's Christians are capable and committed
to carrying the Gospel into their communities, they are working to resource
them.  

Indians know the languages and customs and can work effectively in sensitive
areas where a Western missionary could never set foot.

Mission India provides these dedicated believers with essential training and
materials through three core programs: Children's Bible clubs, adult
literacy programs and church planter training.

Building trust in the
villages takes time, especially in regions where only the women are attending
literacy classes. With so many people taking refuge from the violence in the forests,
there are few left to attend the
programs, leaving many ministers no choice but to start over if and when people
return.

Pray for God to bring peace to
the region even as He continues His work in India. "Persecution, in many ways, also brings
about encouragement and strength in believers where they are willing to stand
against anything." 

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