Only Jesus! Come What May, Jharkhand.
A group of Christians in Jharkhand are being forced to forsake Christ with threats of boycott. A false complaint of conversion has been filed against them by local religious fanatics as well.
On the 11th of May 2020, at almost midnight, *Kumar and his pregnant wife left their village with their two young children from fear of being boycotted and harassed by local religious fanatics. Accompanying them were his uncle and his cousin who had recently accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior. All this, in the midst of the Covid-19 lockdown.
For the past year, Kumar has been serving with a mission organization in Jharkhand, a state in India. Kumar used to regularly have small prayer groups at his home which is 10kms away from his home village. During the Covid-19 lockdown, Kumar decided to move in with his parents. Kumar’s parentswere pressurized by local religious fanatics because of his faith in Jesus Christ and could not come to terms with him. They threatened to kick him out of the family home and cut him off from all family inheritance, including a small property that was rightfully his, in an attempt to steer him back to his original beliefs.
Being instigated by local religious fanatics, Kumar’s parents decided to seal their decision in order to put pressure on Kumar, so they approached the village committee and presented their case. The village head man was convinced with Kumar’s parent’s argument and supported them in their decision. That was not all, the head man also made it known that if anyone from the village was caught associating with the believers in any way then they would be fined with a sum of Rs. 5001.
That very day, a few young religious fanatics from the village had also ganged up to plot and plan against the Christians. When the village gathered for the meeting at 7pm in the evening, they also joined in along with Kumar’s parents to support their case. This meeting went on until 11pm at night, resulting in rendering the Christians fearful. That night, Kumar and his family ran away and took shelter at a kind relative’s home, who lived in the neighboring village. After a couple of days, Kumar’s parents allowed him to return home with his family. However, they have to live in isolation, owing to the strict rule that has been passed by the village head, who also made a false complaint of conversion at the local police station to solidify his decision. Fortunately for Kumar, the police have been unbiased and have not interfered in this matter.
Earlier on, Kumar and his wife had been married for a couple of years and were desperately trying to start a family. However, in spite of visiting many doctors and different holy shrines and places, they could not conceive. A friend suggested that they go to a Christian prayer meeting which was conducted in a nearby village as they had heard about many miracles taking place there. When Kumar and his wife went there, a few Christians approached them. “They prayed for us like we were their own, with tears and pleading” said Kumar. He couldn’t understand why they carried his burden as their own!
Within a year, Kumar and his wife’s prayers were answered. They had a little healthy baby in their arms. They knew it was a prayer that Jesus Christ had answered. Since then, they have faithfully walked with Jesus and have led many to Him. Today Kumar has two little children and is expecting their third baby- a miracle and testimony that he readily shares with anyone. They have decided to follow Jesus, come what may.
Let’s pray for Kumar, his family and a few other believers who are being persecuted in their village. Pray that they would find peace in this situation. Pray especially for the protection of Kumar’s wife who is in a delicate condition. Let’s pray and trust God to meet with Kumar’s parents and his fellow villagers who have disowned the Christians. It is only God who can transform their hearts and minds.
“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.” Exodus 20”:12. It can be difficult to honor our parents without God’s help. And depending on our parents’ relationship with God, what they do and say might be different from what we believe in. God still asks us to honor them. However, God doesn’t ask us to disobey Him as we honor our parents, especially if what they want us to do goes against His word. Even though Kumar’s own parents have forsaken him, he has chosen to forgive them as the Bible urges us to honor our parents and forgive those who persecute us.
From January 2016 to March 2020, Persecution Relief has recorded 1961 cases of Hate crimes against Christians in India. 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 1st Quarter of 2016, we have recorded 82 cases, in 2017 – 134, 2018 – 117, 2019 – 130 and in 2020 we recorded 187 cases of Christian Persecution.
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.
In 2019 we have 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.
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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