As long as God’s people dwell upon this earth, there will be persecution. This is expected. It is promised. The darkness hates the Light, and while this may take various forms throughout the world, it is open and clearly seen in parts of Asia. Physical violence continues to rise, and laws continue to be established for the sole purpose of trying to destroy the church of Jesus Christ. This is especially true in India, where there is an ever-increasing pressure mounting against the Lord’s people.
The following is an account of a faithful pastor, and what he has recently experienced. This is a common occurrence that is happening throughout the country. I trust it will help the reader pray for our brothers and sisters in these areas.
The pastor writes:
“As we were excited about Christmas, the news of an anti-conversion bill came and many worship places were shut down by the government. The persecution rose as the police were in support of Anti-Christian groups under political pressure. I was called to the local police station and warned to immediately stop Sunday worship. In this meeting, I personally witnessed Psalm 23, as the Builder of the church was ahead of us and we were not harmed. The police warned us, and also the hall owner. Thus, we were asked to vacate the hall immediately.
As we were on watch by police and anti-Christian groups, we decided to meet at the hotel over food and discuss the further course. Everyone was happy to still meet on Sundays and worship our Savior, so we decided to meet at my home, and every alternate Sunday at different places so we could not be located by the Anti-Christian groups and police.
When the anti-conversion law was passed, there were protests. Rallies were done to bring to the attendance of legal bodies the illegal persecutions faced by Christians against their constitutional rights. Several visits were made to the district superintendent’s office to seek permission to gather on Sunday for worship, but no attention was given to them. A day of fasting was organized outside of the government building and a written report was submitted to the Secretary of illegal persecution for the cancellation of the anti-conversion bill.
While there are sad parts, we were able to see that God was separating His sheep from the goats. Many self-appointed pastors and churches were closed and a few went online. Also, those churches that rented a hall were forced to stop immediately by police and anti-conversion groups. The hall owners also turned their faces as they were similarly threatened.
During these days, God has been faithful to us and has been providing us places at different locations to meet on Sundays. I am very much encouraged that all the members regularly attend Sunday worship, no matter the distance or risk. We praise God for His grace.”
Would you continue to pray for the church in India? This is but one account of the many. And though our heart breaks for our brothers and sisters in India, we rejoice in the indestructible nature of the gospel, and His church. We know that He will use this persecution to accomplish His purposes.
In 2 Cor. 4:6-12, Paul writes, “For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves; we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death works in us, but life in you.”
May life work in us as we read accounts such as this. May we lift up our voice to the Lord on their behalf, and may each of us press on to know the Lord and make Him known among the nations.
Stephen began working for HeartCry in 2015. As coordinator for Asia, North America, and Western Europe, he currently oversees the missionaries over 10 countries. He currently lives in Virginia with his wife and four children.More By Stephen Jacobs