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Lent Prayer - India

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Lent Prayer - India

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Lent Prayer - India

Project(s): 21-930, 21-510

Country/Region: India, South and East Asia

Professor T. J. Joseph, a Christian who taught at a college in Kerala State, was attacked in July 2010 when he got home from church by unknown assailants who cut off his right hand with an axe. Professor Joseph’s sister said her brother “has only talked about forgiveness, forgiveness and forgiveness”.

20110322-India-4X3.jpg

Indian Christian children play volleyball at a Christian home for orphaned children, which is supported by Barnabas

Christians number about 6% of the total population of India, and some 60% of Christians are Dalits, who occupy the lowest level of Indian society. Christians face discrimination in all walks of life and also suffer personal violence from Hindu extremists and attacks against churches and Christian buildings. In May 2010, seven students at a Bible college in Mumbai were hospitalised after a mob armed with sticks and iron bars stormed their campus. In August, four attackers targeted a church in Karnataka State during the morning service. They accused the Christians of forced conversions and started beating them up.

The violence even extends to murder: Shravan Kumar, an Indian missionary, was killed in Jharkhand in September, and evangelist Ravi Murmu was murdered in Laxmanpur, Bihar state in May. When asked how the family was coping with the murder, Ravi’s brother (also an evangelist) replied, “The peace of God still reigns in this house and in this family.”

Following the serious large-scale anti-Christian violence in Orissa in December 2007 and August 2008 that left many Christians dead or injured and thousands homeless, only a handful of people have been brought to justice for the violence. On 29 June 2010 a senior member of the Hindu extremist political party, the BJP, was given a seven-year prison sentence for murdering a Christian during the violence.

India’s constitution guarantees religious liberty, but in the last few years a number of states have introduced “anti-conversion laws”. Under these laws, non-Hindus are liable to penalties for converting someone by “force”, “fraud” or “allurement”. These laws are often misused to prevent legitimate Christian evangelism.

Pray for religious freedom to be upheld in every Indian state and that Hindus who choose to follow Christ will be able to do so without fear of punishment. Pray for the families of Ravi and Shravan, that they will know the peace of the Lord in their sadness. Thank the Lord for the forgiving attitude of Professor Joseph; pray that he and his family will be a powerful witness to those who maimed him. Please remember especially our brothers and sisters in Orissa on the anniversary of the 2007 violence. Pray that the Church in India will continue to serve the nation without fear.

Barnabas Fund projects in India include

This article is taken from

Praying for the Persecuted Church in Lent 2011” - order your FREE copy here.

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  • “Jesus Christ performed tremendous miracles in all our lives through this Shalom Camp.” A pastor spoke of how God had worked through a Barnabas-sponsored weekend Bible camp for persecuted Christians in Sri Lanka. The camp was attended by believers from five different churches that had been the target of threats or attacks by Buddhist or Hindu extremists. The participants heard teaching on the Biblical basis for persecution and took part in group discussions; they came away refreshed and encouraged, and for many the camp was a time of great spiritual renewal. Give thanks to the Lord for the peace He has brought to these persecuted believers, and ask that the weekend will continue to bear much fruit in their lives. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed 6 hours ago

  • Pray for a church leader in Sri Lanka, S.S. Johnpillai, who was threatened at gunpoint by attackers who claimed to be Special Forces officers. The minister was in a hut next to his church building in Guadalupe, Trincomolee when, he said, the men “appeared out of nowhere”. The intruders put a gun to Johnpillai’s head and accused him of holding a Communion service in honour of the founder of the Tamil Tigers, the government’s opponents in the country’s long and bloody civil war. The government had that day made it a criminal offence to commemorate the group. The gunmen ignored Johnpillai’s protests that he had not dedicated Communion to the group’s founder, and they threatened to shoot him. Ask the Lord to support and strengthen Johnpillai as he recovers from this terrifying ordeal. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Tue, Apr 2014 00:00

  • Lift up to the Lord persecuted Christians in Sri Lanka, where at least 65 anti-Christian incidents took place during 2013, including repeat attacks on several believers and their property in October 2013. However, a Sri Lankan government minister from a Buddhist nationalist party denied the accounts, saying that they might be “made up”. The minister claimed that Sri Lankans are “one family … trying to live together after a long civil war”. Pray that the Sri Lankan government will recognise the danger that our brothers and sisters face from militant Buddhists and that the authorities will provide effective protection for vulnerable Christians. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Mon, Apr 2014 00:00

  • Condemned Christian mother Aasia Bibi’s final appeal hearing is scheduled to take place tomorrow (14 April) having been deferred twice. She was sentenced to death for blasphemy in November 2010 having been falsely accused of insulting Muhammad following an argument with Muslim co-workers. Aasia has been languishing in jail since the accusation was made in June 2009. Pray that her appeal will finally go ahead and that the judges will have the courage to acquit and release Aasia; there are concerns that they may give in to pressure from hardline Islamists who have been calling for her execution. Pray that Aasia, her husband and children will know the Lord’s peace as they await the verdict. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sun, Apr 2014 00:00

  • Indians have started going to the polls this week in a general election that is taking place in phases until 12 May. The ruling, secular Congress party is expected to be defeated by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). This would be an ominous outcome for the country’s Christian minority. The BJP has given support to extremist groups that attack Christians; states under the party’s rule have generally experienced a rise in anti-Christian violence. It has introduced anti-conversion laws on a state level, and has pledged to introduce national legislation to curb "missionary" activity and end proselytising if elected nationally. Pray for wisdom for Indians as they vote and that the outcome will result in a just government that upholds the rights and freedoms of all citizens. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sat, Apr 2014 00:00

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