Is worshiping Jesus Christ a crime in India?
“Blessing Youth Mission”, has been ministering in Soradapalli Village which is populated by Saora tribals. The village falls under the jurisdiction of Chandanpur Panchayat, Beguiniapada block, Kodala P. S., in the District of Ganjam, in the state of Odisha. They have been working in this area over the last two decades.
Around 18 Christian families live in this village. In 2003, around an armed mob of religious fundamentalists invaded the village and demanded that they recant their faith and return to their former religion. Under the threat of intimidation and fear for their lives and of their families, 13 families were proselyted to their former religion.
This had infuriated the local Panchayat Head (village leaders) and leaders. The Christians were subjected to social boycott – the entire premise for denying benefits is their religious affiliation. They have been deprived of basic access to buy food (subsidized by the government), access to medical facilities, access to transportation, no fodder for their cattle and persistent exclusion from all activities in the village. The greatest tyranny of all is denying them access to water. India is hot enough with temperatures reaching 40 degrees Celsius. Vital water supply and access to drinking water, water for the crops or their cattle, is cut off because they are Christians. The local Hindus refuse to sell water from their borewells.
Besides this, they are not being allowed to gather together to worship, with threats that they will be beaten and their legs broken. Despite the persecution and verbal attack, the victims refuse to deny Christ. The hostility and apathy of the state machinery towards our brethren is appalling.
The key objective is to force them out from their homes, fields, their cattle, while the radicals confiscate and “grab their land’, possess it as their own – a costly price for their faith in Jesus Christ. In spite of all these horrifying and antiquated acts of persecution, these 5 families have not recanted their faith.
On 20th November, 2017, Irna Sabar of the nearby Janamani village, belonging to the organisation “Biswabasu Saura Samaj”, threatened the believers with dire consequences if they did not return to their former faith.
He gave them an ultimatum’ again, on 23rd December.
Finally, on 19th January, 2018, around 120 religious fanatics surrounded this group of Christians
and forced them to choose between their faith and their homes, their crops, and their jobs, he said. Amidst much lamentation, weeping and wailing, 9 families reluctantly surrendered to their captives and recanted their faith.
4 terrified and anxious families stand firm in spite of this outrage, in spite of the threat of being destitute, in spite of being severely pressured to deny their Christian faith daily, daily, daily.
Extremely disappointed and unable to bridge the differences through a compromise, Pastor Dhanpati Santa was left with no option but to reach out to the Police. An FIR was filed on 22nd January with Beguiniapada Outpost. Today, 06th of February, they have all been called for a hearing.
CHURCH, PRAY, PRAY, PRAY
▪ Pray for today’s meeting that God would move the hearts of the authorities to judge in righteousness and truth
▪ Pray that God would break all the chains and bondages of religion; cancel all the plans and pressure tactics of the evil forces, powers and principalities; and that God would restrain the hands of the evil one
▪ Pray that God would fill these Christians with the power of His Holy Spirit, to remain strong in their faith, despite severe pressure and threats.
▪ Pray that God would supernaturally deliver His people for the sake of His Name
▪ Pray for the protection of the families and their children, as well as the other Christian families in their community
▪ Pray that Christians will not be intimidated by the ‘manipulated and prejudiced interpretation’ of the Constitution, but rather stand firm on the promises of God – relying on Him for the wisdom, diplomacy and favour required to deal appropriately with the authorities
“Ask of Me, and I will give You The nations for Your inheritance, And the ends of the earth for Your possession.” – Psalm 2:8
Christianity continues to be viewed as a foreign religion in India. Therefore, the majority religions seeking to protect their religious dominance, conspire and continue to ostracize Christians.
2018 Persecution Relief News
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