Tribal disputes displace thousands, disrupt ministry

By February 25, 2011

India (MNN) — At least eight people have died and thousands have been left homeless in communal violence between two South Asian states, Gospel for Asia reports.

GFA-supported ministries are being threatened by the violence.

At least two villages where GFA has pastors have undergone attacks. Within those two villages, more than 6,000 people have lost their homes.

The most recent attacks were between two tribal groups in neighboring Indian states. Several hundred Rabha villagers from Assam State burned down two Garo villages in Meghalaya and set a third on fire.

Garo villagers, who are nominal Christians, retaliated in hand-to-hand combat. When the Garo youth threatened to invade Assam, Army troops had to intercede.

"This is a difficult time for our missionaries and believers in this strife-torn area," says GFA president K.P. Yohannan. "Losing homes and belongings is an emotional as well as a physical loss. And it is especially disturbing that a people group considered ‘Christian' is involved in retaliation and fighting."

Amid the violence, there is some opportunity for outreach. One Christian layman has opened his home to feed and give shelter to some of the victims of the violence. Pray for opportunities to share the Gospel as well.

Pray for believers during this time to be a witness of Christ's peace in the midst of conflict. Yohannan asks, "Pray that all of those, on both sides of the conflict, will come to know the One who died so they can live together as true brothers and sisters, both in this life and for eternity."

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