Date: November 26, 2021
India (MNN) — With Christmas approaching, Indian believers are bracing for more persecution.
India ranks in the top 10 worst countries for Christian persecution by the World Watch List.
Erik* with Mission India says, “[Christmas] is a time that around the world, I believe, Christians see an increase of persecution because it is the holiday for Christians — that and Easter. People know that and people don’t like that some people are Christian and celebrating the birth of Jesus. So they want to deter that as much as possible.”
Believers in India celebrate Christmas in many similar ways as the rest of the world. But in some parts of India, it can be difficult to find Christian community or feel safe attending a Christmas church service.
“There’s unique ways that those believers are doing that, especially now given digitalization currently in the pandemic. They have found different ways to worship online — Facebook Live and YouTube and all that stuff. So they’re finding community.”
One way Christians are connecting and even seeing Church growth is due to programs like the Children’s Bible Clubs with Mission India.
“I’ve always been blown away by how God uses children to change families,” says Erik.
“One of the stories I recently came across was about a girl named Jada. Jada’s father was an alcoholic and spent whatever money he made on alcohol. In turn, he beat his family. As a father of a five-year-old, I can’t imagine the pain that Jada and her mom and family were experiencing because of her father’s addiction. So one day, her father drank so much over years, his liver failed. The doctor said there was no hope.”
Jada had been attending a Children’s Bible Club and grew to love and follow Jesus. She visited her dad in the hospital and shared the Gospel with him. For the first time, he listened.
Erik says, “This young girl invites her dad into a relationship with Jesus as he’s sitting there on his deathbed. His exact quote was, ‘If Jesus heals me, I will worship him as the only true God.’ After Jada prayed and invited her father to receive Jesus, her father’s liver miraculously heals!”
“So today, their whole entire family is following Jesus. And for the first time, they’re all going to celebrate Christmas together.”
Hope for Christmas
Christians in India are connecting, whether it’s online or through organic Church growth. Even with the threat of possible persecution, there is hope this Christmas.
“In the midst of persecution, in the midst of alcoholism, addictions, all the different things that go on in this world, Jesus is still changing people,” Erik says. “Jada has forever changed that family progression from this darkness to now this opportunity to be changed by the love of Jesus going forward.”
Please pray for extremists who are targeting and attacking Indian believers. Ask the Lord to soften their hearts and open their eyes to new life in Jesus Christ.
Erik says, “We believe the first work of missions is prayer — praying for Christians in India specifically, but also Christians around the world, praying that they would be comforted in the midst of persecution that they will experience. But also, as many celebrate their first Christmas ever, be praying that they would feel Jesus in a whole new way and be encouraged by their newfound faith in Jesus.
“Also, if you feel so called, we’d love to partner with you financially. As we enter into end-of-year, I know many people are looking at different ways and ministries to give to. We would just be so blessed if your readers and listeners would think about Mission India and supporting what we’re doing and supporting children like Jada. You can go to missionindia.org/donate and give a gift today.”
If you give to Mission India this Giving Tuesday, November 30th, your gift will be doubled by a generous donor and benefit kids in the 10-Day Children’s Bible Clubs!
Header photo courtesy of Mission India.
*Last name omitted for security purposes.