India (MNN) — In the last few years, persecution against Christians in India has been on the increase. Anti-Christian sentiment is at an all-time high. Unfortunately, one leader in India doesn't expect that to change in 2008.
Founder and President of Gospel for Asia KP Yohannan says 2007 has been a very violent year for believers. "There has not been any single week during this year that we didn't have to report that some missionary was beaten up and abused or was in the hospital. (We've even seen) some of our sisters being abused and beaten up," which isn't typical there, says Yohannan.
Why is this happening? According to Yohannan, Matthew 10 says this type of persecution is inevitable. "Jesus promised this was going to happen. More people are coming to Christ, and we'll see a greater amount of persecution. Satan knows his time is very short, and therefore he will intensify persecution."
While Yohannan is praying that persecution subsides, they're not ignoring the problem. He says they're training Bible college and seminary graduates to be prepared for persecution. "When the graduation takes place, many of the students are going out knowing that some of them are going to face severe persecution. One of the most common things we are hearing is that when they finish their training, many of them get beaten up and face difficulties for preaching the Gospel."
According to Yohannan, the training has helped. "Not one missionary so far ever said to us, 'I'm going back home, I don't want to face this.' Rather, they're saying that they will continue to go forward preaching the Gospel."
Yohannan is urging Christians to pray for the situation in India. Pray that many more people will turn to Christ. Pray for boldness for those sharing the Gospel. And, pray that those attacking these believers will come to Christ.