South Asia (MNN) — South Asia, as defined by World Bank, is a region encompassing eight countries with approximately 1.7 billion people. It holds one of the world’s largest populations and is among the fastest-growing economic sectors.
Though the financial future seems to shine brightly, storm clouds darken the horizon for Christians. Five of the region’s nations can be found on Open Doors USA’s World Watch List. The list is a ranking of 50 countries where Christian persecution is worst.
This persecution even extends to the Deaf community, says Rob Myers of DOOR International.
“We need those strongholds torn down, and we can only do that through prayer and through seeing God break [them],” he says, requesting prayer for persecuted Deaf Christians on IDOP Sunday.
The Deaf Christian population is admittedly small. There are 70 million Deaf people worldwide, and less than two-percent of them know Christ as their Savior. But, it’s that small percentage that DOOR equips and empowers to reach the rest for Christ.
“We have a number of people, particularly in Asia and Eurasia, who are standing up for their faith and are running into some pretty intense persecution in the midst of it,” shares Myers.
Sam Sharma* is one of them.
Standing firm in South Asia
Sam was born into a family committed to one of the region’s Majority Religions. Though he’s Deaf — usually a challenging obstacle in this part of the world — Sam obtained training and a prosperous career in 3-D animation.
In his family’s eyes, Sam successfully overcame his “disability.” That all changed when he met one of DOOR’s Deaf 2-by-2 teams.
“He came to know Christ as his Savior…[and] he decided he wanted to quit his job as a 3-D animator in order to go out and share this amazing news with all the Deaf people he knew, in order to fulfill the Great Commission,” Myers says.
“His family got so angry that they began to monitor him closely, and eventually blocked him from leaving the house, locked him into the house.”
Today, Sam serves as one of DOOR’s 2-by-2 church planters and uses his experiences to encourage other persecuted Deaf. On IDOP Sunday, your prayers can have the same effect.
“We just need, as the hearing church, to come alongside them and support them and encourage them, and let them know they’re not alone in this struggle, but that as our brothers and sisters in Christ, we’re upholding them in prayer,” Myers says.
Pray Ephesians 6:13 over Sam and all persecuted Deaf Christians. Pray for strength and perseverance so they can continue in their bold stand.
“I would also challenge you to share with at least two other people that Deaf are the largest unreached people group in the world.”
*– Name changed for security purposes.