“Gideon’s Holy Bible” stall forcibly shut down, Madhya Pradesh
The Gideons International is an Association of Christian Business and Professional men and women, who’s primary activity is distributing copies of the Holy Bible, free of charge.
Several Christian business men and their wives – are dedicated to making the Word of God available to everyone, together with the local Church, reaching souls for Christ.
At a 10-day Mela held at Shahid Smarak, Gol Bazaar, Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh, Gideons had rented a stall, from 19th to 29th May. Gideon’s New Testament Bibles were displayed and were distributed freely to anyone who requested for a copy.
The Religious fanatics lodged a complaint with Superintendent of Police (SP) and Town Inspector (TI), who visited the Mela. They met with the Mela Organizers, alerting them about the complaint they had received about conversion activities at the Gideon Stall. It is alleged that the fanatics threatened to hold a darna, if they were not asked to vacate the stall.
Speaking to Persecution Relief, Bro. John Barel, Area Director, Gideons, said that he tried to assure the Mela Organizers that no conversion activities were going on, and that Holy Bible’s were distributed only to those who requested for one, which was not a crime. Nevertheless, the Mela organizers, citing fear of reprisal from the religious fanatics, asked them to leave the Mela immediately.
On 25th May, at 4.30 pm, Bro. John Barel and his team, were forced to wind down their stall. To add insult to injury, the organizers of the Mela insisted that Gideon’s give them, in writing, that they were “discontinuing from participating in the Mela, owing to their own personal reasons”, so as to safeguard against any future litigation.
The Gideon’s Team, left the Mela with cartons of Bibles, Flexi Boards, and chairs that were used at the stall.
In today’s context, the Holy Bible and the newspaper is plain and clear – that to be an outspoken, evangelistic, socially engaged Christian is going to be increasingly dangerous.
Multitudes of lives have been transformed by the timely ‘intervention’ of a Gideon New Testament Holy Bible, at a Prison or a Hospital Bed, from utter hopelessness and from the brink of suicide.
In light of these circumstances, Church, let us join the members of Gideons across India, who are doing such a self-less service for the Gospel outreach.
In 2018, Persecution Relief recorded more than 477 incidents of hate-crimes against Christians.
157 incidents were recorded in 2019, up to the end of April.
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