Date: November 27, 2014
Sources: AsiaNews, Release International
|Pray that many will come to know the Lord in Madhya Pradesh.
Flickr / Nagarjun Kandukuru
Eight Christians have been imprisoned following a brutal attack in which a pastor and seven members of his congregation were stripped naked, whipped with belts, and punched before being arrested by local police.
On November 4th, Reverend Rana had just begun a meeting with members of Bethel Pentecostal Church in Madhya Pradesh province to prepare for a prayer service when a mob of local Hindu radicals, known as the Bajrang Dal, stormed abruptly into the meeting. Following the mob's brutal attack, police arrived on the scene and surprisingly arrested the eight victimized Christians.
It is reported that the arrested believers have been imprisoned under India's anti-conversion laws. These laws mandate that anyone wanting to convert from Hinduism (or trying to convert a Hindu) must seek permission from the government, providing a 30-day advance notice.
In response, President of the Global Council of Indian Christians Sajan George states, "It is essential that Christian and Hindu leaders engage in an active dialogue and genuine cooperation." He then urges that steps be taken to create an environment of mutual tolerance. It remains unknown as to whether these believers have yet been released. (Christians throughout India need your prayers. To read more about the challenges they are facing in this country, go to the India Country Report.)
Please pray for these suffering brothers and sisters in Christ. Ask God to encourage and strengthen Reverend Rana and his faithful congregants, reminding them that it is a privilege to face such opposition since Jesus Himself was also persecuted (John 15:20). Also pray that the Lord will use this opportunity to "open a door...for the word, to speak the mystery of Christ" (Colossians 4:3), bringing the revelatory truth of the Gospel even to those who have bound them in chains.