CHRISTIAN WOMEN AND CHILDREN DRAGGED AND HARASSED,WEST BENGAL.
Anima wife of the Pastor
Christian women and children were dragged through a village by a raging mob of over 40 religious fanatics on the 19th of June 2020. This act of religious racism took place in Charabari, a village in the district of North 24 Paraganas in West Bengal, India.
Pr.T. A.Paul, the President of Berachah Faith Mission told Persecution Relief that the mob had gone to Pr. Biswambar Munda’s home to attack him, but when they found no male members present at home, they vehemently pulled the women and children out of the house and dragged them to the local club. “The women and children of the family had to endure insults and threats at the club” he said.
Speaking to Persecution Relief from an undisclosed location, Pastor Biswambar said a few of the fanatics went back to his home while the mob were trying to make his wife-Anima, forsake Christ. “They desecrated a cross that was on my wall by smearing it with mud and then loudly threatened to blow up my home with a bomb. They shouted ‘we would have killed him, had we found him today’” he said some of the neighbours herd them say.
“Normally, every Friday I wake up to fast and pray, but that morning I felt a voice urge me to leave the house. So, picking up my bag, I told my wife that I was going out and would return later. It was only later that I realized it was God who told me to leave, when my wife called me up and told me what had happened” said the Pastor.
Pastor Biswambar and Anima belong to the Munda tribe and have two children, a son (14) and a daughter (9). He presently lives with his extended family, all of who are Christian. He has been serving with the Berachah Faith Mission for the past one year, Pr. T.A.Paul told Persecution Relief.
“The local people have been hurling threats, abusive words, mockery etc on this family whenever they would venture out. A couple of weeks back, a mob of religious fanatics conspired to beat up Biswambar and took him to the ‘Charabari AdibashiJubo Songho’ club to threaten him, but this time the level of persecution was at a different intensity altogether’ added Pr.T.A.Paul.
Pr. Biswambar told Persecution Relief that there are around 30 Christians in this village. He regularly gathers them to pray at his sister-Savitri Munda’s home. The Church has been meeting together for the past one year. “They have threatened us to leave the village by Tuesday the 23rd of June 2020” he said. Pr. UjjwalDeb, a local Christian leader, alerted Persecution Relief about this incident.
The Berachah Faith Mission that Pr. Biswambar serves with is a church planting mission that serves in six districts of West Bengal. “We have been facing persecution in almost all the places wherever we have been conducting prayer fellowships, especially over the past 3 months” said Pr. T.A.Paul.
Elaborating the situation, Paul G.Perris- Administrator of the Mission organization said, “As prayer and worship are something we give prime importance to we have seen the Spirit of God transforming lives in no time. People started coming out of bondages like addiction, poverty, debt, sickness, disease etc. The community people didn’t like or welcome the change among them. They started opposing and had been trying to stop the prayer time that is conducted every day at the area co-ordinator’s present residence.”
Speaking to Persecution Relief, Pr.T.A.Paul has expressed that they do not want to make a complaint with the Police. They are trusting God to divinely intervene. They have requested the leaders of the Church in India to stand with them in prayer and unite with them as the body of Christ for God’s glory.
As you ponder over this story, we pray that God would lead you to pray for not only Pr. Biswambar, his family and the Church in his village but also pray for the thousands of indigenous people who have put their faith in Christ and are enduring persecution because of it. Pray that they may always proclaim God as their refuge and strength, their ever-present help in times of trouble. The One who will save and protect them.
In faith let us believe, that with our own eyes, we will see the persecutors of the Church, lay down their guards and arms at the feet of a Sovereign God, proclaiming, ‘He is Lord!’
Persecution is like a siren, announcing the mighty movement of the Holy Spirit. As much as Christian persecution soars, the Spirit of God is also spreading like a wild fire, touching people living in cities and villages, Mountains and valleys, deserts and forests and even the little islands of India. In the eyes of the world, India may be listed as one of the most hostile countries for Christians to live in, but every Christian must see India as a land wherein God is pouring out His Spirit on all people and drawing all men unto Him.
Sooner or later, every devout Christian will have the privilege and honour of being persecuted for Christ. In the days to come, the world will witness a miniscule 2.3% of India’s Christian population unleash the unconditional love of a zealous God upon the rest of the 97.7%, who desperately need to experience it. The Church is approaching a time, when we will have the opportunity to surrender our all to the one who gave His all! Perhaps, you can hear Him say, I will build my Church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.
In the 1st Quarter of 2020, we recorded 187 cases. Between 1st Quarter of 2016 to 1st Quarter of 2020, there has been a rise of 128.04 % of Hate Crimes against Christians all across the country. In 2019 alone, Persecution Relief has recorded the maximum number of 527 cases compared to 447 cases in 2018, 440 in 2017 and 330 in 2016. From January 2016 to March 2020, Persecution Relief has recorded 1961 cases of Hate crimes against Christians in India.
The US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has downgraded India to the lowest ranking, ‘Countries of Particular Concern’(CPC) In its 2020 report. 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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