Persecution continues in India, Bible students committed

By July 28, 2008

India (MNN) — Radical Hindus in India are angry and helpless. Thousands of Hindus are giving their lives to Christ. That is causing extremists to lash out at Christians.

According to Gospel for Asia, last week two of their Bible college students were beaten and ridiculed for handing out evangelistic tracts in the state of Maharashtra. They were on their weekend outreach when the incident occurred.

Founder and President of Gospel for Asia KP Yohannan says, "This is one of the toughest states. Not only two, but a group of seven of our students while they were going out for outreach, they were rounded up by 30 or 40 people who simply destroyed their literature, burned their Bibles, and beat them up without mercy."

The trouble began when Mohan, a third-year student, came across an automobile driver who questioned his authority to distribute tracts about Jesus. The automobile driver then slapped Mohan on his face.

Simson, another third-year student, was distributing Gospel tracts nearby and rushed to protect Mohan. The scene drew a crowd of people and they, too, began to interrogate the students. They shouted at Mohan and Simson, using vulgarities to speak out against them. Their attackers shoved the two students around and beat them until they were severely bruised. One of the attackers pushed Simson down and kicked him.

At first, no one came to the students' aid. Finally, a few people from among the crowd told the assailants to stop beating them. The attackers grabbed their Christian literature, telling them, "We don't want any Jesus." Then they let Mohan and Simson go, warning them not to return.

GFA has 120 students enrolled in the Maharashtra Bible College. These are just a few of the many young people who are receiving the Bible school training. Yohannan says many more would like to attend. "[For] $30 a month, anyone can help to train one of these young people. We have 7,000 young people now in our Bible colleges all across the Asian nations. And, we have the possibility to recruit thousands more, if we had people pray and help them."

According to Yohannan, this training is serious. "We tell them, 'You are going to the mission field because Jesus is sending you, and this is what He said: Are you willing to make a commitment and lay down your life for [My] sake?' So far, I don't know any graduates that have said, 'I don't want to get beaten up, and I don't want to get killed.'"

According to Yohannan, persecution is expected. "Wherever people are coming to Christ in large numbers, we see persecution increase. [However], wherever the persecution is harsh and increasing, there we find more people coming to Christ. That is a strange irony."

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