Christian wife tortured for denying puja, Jharkhand.
Located in the East Singhbhum district, Jamshedpur is the largest city in the Indian state of Jharkhand where Naveen and Vasmati Kumar live with their two daughters. The nuclear family resides in an apartment in Telco colony, which is around 15 minutes from Govindpur, the village where Naveen and Vasmati are originally from.
3 years ago, Vasmati was introduced to Jesus Christ, by her Sister. Since then, she has acknowledged Jesus Christ to be her Lord and Saviour. Vasmati’s sister and her entire family are Christians and regularly attend the local Church. However, Naveen, who is a devout Hindu, has not been in favour of Vasmati’s desire to follow Jesus Christ and forsake her old beliefs and traditions.
When Vasmati expressed her desire to go to Church, Naveen out rightly barred her from doing so. Furthermore, he refused to entertain her pleas to be water baptized, and physically assaulted and threatened her against taking the name of Jesus Christ.
On the 29-01-2020, we received a call on our Toll Free No- 1800-1234-461, from Vasmati’s sister, pleading help for Vasmati, who was badly beaten up by her husband. Naveen had asked Vasmati to take part in a ‘puja'( a prayer ritual performed by Hindus to offer devotional worship to one or more deities/idol) Vasmati denied, saying that she trusts in a living God, Jesus Christ. This incited Naveen towards physically and verbally abusing his wife, who is still providing intensive care to their 1 year old baby girl.
Vasmati and Naveen had their first baby girl, 9 years ago. They tried having a child after that, but she could not conceive. Speaking to Persecution Relief, she testified about how God supernaturally allowed her to conceive again after 8 long years. “God answered my prayers” she said. Their second baby girl is now 1 year old.
Vasmati, who was still scared from her ordeal, expressed her eagerness to go to the police station, file a complaint against Naveen and ask for protection. Mr. Thomas, Founder of Persecution Relief, advised her against it saying, “You are being persecuted because you love Jesus. God never forsakes his children and it is his responsibility to look after and care for you and your family. My team and I will commit to pray for your situation over the next few days. Let us trust God for a miracle.”
Coming from a Hindu background, Vasmati has showed great courage by not forsaking the name of the Lord.
On the 02-02-2020, Vasmati called Persecution Relief. “Over the past couple of days, not only are my in-laws, but also my parents putting tremendous pressure on me to return to the Hindu faith, but I have refused. I will not turn my back on Jesus Christ till the day that I die.” Said a courageous Vasmati. She also out rightly denied to take part in a forthcoming family puja, to which her husband has threatened her with divorce. Currently, this mother of 2, is facing heavy persecution for her Christian faith. The Persecution Relief team has been praying and encouraging Vasmati and has also promised comprehensive support.
“Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven.”-Matthew 10:32. Pray for Naveen, that God would supernaturally transform him and change his heart. Pray for Vasmati, that God would comfort and strengthen her during this challenging time. Keep the entire family in your prayer.
Pray for Christian women across India, who are placed under house arrest by their families because of their faith. Pray they would be encouraged in their faith and that their families would come to know the Lord.
Persecution Relief has recorded 330 incidents of hate crime against Christians in 2016, 440 incidents in 2017, 477 incidents in 2018 and in 2019 we have recorded 527 incidents of Christian Persecution in India.
US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) ranked India’s persecution severity at “Tier 2” along with Iraq and Afghanistan. Over the past seven years, India has risen from No. 31 to No. 10 on Open Doors’ World Watch List, ranking just behind Iran in persecution severity.
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