October 20, 2020

Recant your faith in Jesus, else get banished from our village”, Madhya  Pradesh

Madhya Pradesh is one of the severely persecuted states in India.
Drawing our attention to the heart of India-Madhya Pradesh, the second largest state suddenly took a vertical leap from just 1 case of Christian Persecution in July to 9 cases in September! A total of 14 hate crimes against Christians with rise of around 800% ! It is an easy plot for persecutors to harass and incriminate Christian believers with false accusations of religion conversion under the Anti-Conversion Law. While law is to protect the people of the land, how do your respond when the law is being abused? We as Christians faithfully trust in our Lord without fear and threats as stated in 1 Peter 3:14 says, “But even if you should suer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.”

Recently in a village in Madhya Pradesh, one of our beloved sister, Priya (identity withheld) and her family had been harassed by the religious fanatics.
Priya had accepted Jesus Christ ve years ago after being healed from a tormenting experience of demonic possession and black.
Priya says, “We went to every possible hospital in our area but without any eect. I had been in a miserable state for 5 months, and no power or force was able to heal me, until someone introduced us to a local church.”
Priya and her family’s faith coupled with the prayers of many other believers have been reinstated by our Lord Jesus Christ through Priya’s healing. This moment onwards her entire household had surrendered their lives to the Living God and are faithfully holding on to their faith.
On a Sunday, while Priya was silently praying at her house, around 40-50 men along with the local police came to her house to charge her with false accusations of praying in groups during lockdown. Priya and her husband boldly faced the accusations and were let go by the police.
The local police were instrumental and by His grace had told the religious fanatics that the Indian Constitution allows freedom of religion to all.
In the same week, on Tuesday around 8pm, around 200 people, including the village men and religious fanatics called them out in the Village Panchayat meeting and hurled insults at them for their faith. Priya was made to stand alone among several men and was questioned on why she can’t renounce her faith and why she brought such a shame to her husband by following Jesus. Priya spoke to Persecution Relief, and said, “The religious fanatics accused me saying that following Jesus has led to the disgrace of her village and the whole nation.”
When Priya and her family stood rm in faith, the religious fanatics circled around them, clapping hands, and mocking them. They asked Priya if she prays for other, when she said yes, the fanatics told that they would bring bunch of sick people and Priya should pray for them. If the sick gets healed, then they will believe that Jesus is real. Priya replied, “Your faith will heal you. Let the sick have the faith and pray to Jesus for their healing.”
The religious goons also intimidated Priya by saying that today they are joining hands in request for them to recant their faith, but tomorrow even if Priya and her household joins their hands for mercy, the fanatics are not going to budge.
The villagers and the religious fanatics have also carried our rallies against Priya and her family and had visited the police station to book them under false accusations of false conversion.
When the police provided a clean chit to Priya and her family, the accusers didn’t stop there, they continued to have regular Panchayat meetings against them and also warned them that if they do not forsake Jesus, they will be exterminated from the village and all their provisions will be stopped. Eventually, Priya and her family stopped attending such meetings.
Priya works for the rural child care center. Due to lock-down, they have been o work; however, as a means of harassment, the local village assembly has issued a petition to transfer her from her services on account of false religious conversions.
Currently though there is a perceived silence with Priya’s case, but is this the calm before the storm? Priya and her family are not the only victims of persecution in the village. There are 30 other Christian families who too stand the chance to be persecuted. Pray that Priya and her family remain strong and steadfast in their faith. Pray for the protection for Priya and her family and the other 30 Christian families in the village. Pray that God provides restoration and transformation of hearts of the villagers and the religious fanatics, so that they too can taste the love of God.
Pray that God’s overowing provision is upon Priya and others who are being discriminated at their work for their faith.
Pray that God convicts the religious fanatics and reveal Himself to them through personal encounters and they also receive the saving Grace of Jesus Christ. Pray that every perishing soul in Madhya Pradesh are freed from the lies and deception of the enemy.

As we pray, meditate on the everlasting promise stored for us in Isaiah 43:2, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass
through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the re, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”

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