India Mission Team held by Fanatics, Bihar
A team of evangelists, comprising of men and women wererecently apprehended by a group of religious fanatics and the village head man in Bihar.
Evangelist Joby.K.S serves with India Mission. He and a team of 5 persons recently visited a village that is part of a town calledBhagwanpur, located in the Bhagwanpur block of Vaishali district in Bihar, India to share the gospel of Jesus Christ.
After a brief time of evangelism, prayer and tract distribution,the team gathered together and proceeded to leave the village.As they began walking towards their vehicle which was parked outside the village, a group of religious fanatics from the same village surrounded them. One of the men grabbed Joby while the rest of the men created a commotion by falsely accusing them ofinstigating religious conversions. The fanatics then refused to let them leave and forcefully took them to the Village Mukiya (Village Head Man). The Village head confronted them and started asking all sorts of questions, while the fanatics backed him up. The group of Christians went through this petrifying ordeal and were held back by the head man and the fanatics for around 2 hours.
Soon, the Police were called by the village head man. Once they arrived, they begun questioning the Gospel team members of India Mission.
As the news of this incident quickly spread amongst the Christian circles, many saints started fervently praying for the India Mission team. By the grace of God, the whole team wasreleased without any charges.
“We had ladies who were also a part of the team, but they are all safe, the Police came and helped us.” Said Dr. Aby of India Mission while he spoke to Persecution Relief. He has expressed his sincere thanks to all who prayed for the India Mission Team.
Praise God for his protection and favour over the India Mission Team. Let us not loose hope and continue to pray for the protection of the Christians who boldly evangelise even in the most hostile places. We urge you to pray that the Village Head man and the group of fanatics would soon experience the saving power and love of Jesus Christ.
‘You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.’ John 15:16
When we make a decision to honour God by keeping his commands and following his statutes, he in turn will give us what we ask for in Jesus name, to glorify Himself in his Son.
Between January 2016 to December 2019, there has been a rise of 59.6% 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.
What stands out amongst the Hate Crimes in India is that 4 Christians were murdered in 2019. We recorded 199 incidents related to Threats, Intimidations & Harassments against Christians, 104 incidents of Church attacks, 85 incidents of Physical Violence reported which includes Women & Children, 100s of House Churches were forcefully closed down by Religious Fanatics and the local administrations.
The state of Uttar Pradesh has showed a shocking 179.4% leap in cases of Christian Persecution between 2016 to 2019! From 39 cases being reported in 2016, the number has sky rocketed to 109 cases in 2019 alone bringing the total count from across the country to 527 cases. Uttar Pradesh has proved to be the most hostile state in the country against Christians for the past 3 consecutive years. Tamil Nadu continues to rank as the second most hostile state in the country with 75 cases, followed by Karnataka with 32 cases, bringing the state of Maharashtra to number 4 with 31 cases and Bihar with 30 cases stands at number 5.
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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