Christians in India are urgently asking for our prayers as they find themselves caught between two crises: pandemic and persecution. So we have set aside July to pray with them. There is much to pray into, but also much to be grateful for. Thank you – your prayers make such a difference and mean so much to your persecuted family. This is the second week of prayer points. All names have been changed for security reasons.
Sunday, July 11
Vinita and her husband have faced constant harassment from their community since becoming Christians.
One day, Vinita was praying with her pastor’s family when Hindu extremists barged in. Vinita and the other believers were all seriously injured and were refused treatment at hospital by staff under pressure from the extremists. Thanks to you, they received treatment at a private hospital and are getting support as they file a case against their attackers.
Pray that the perpetrators will be brought to justice, and that Vinita, her pastor and their families will find strength in God’s comfort.
Monday, July 12
Gaurav is a church leader. He was active in sharing the gospel, and he was threatened
several times by extremists and local people in the area, telling him to stop. When he
refused, he was falsely accused of using fraudulent means to make people convert to
Christianity, and imprisoned for four months, along with two of his friends.
When they were finally released, it took them three years to prove their innocence.
Gaurav says, “Meanwhile I and my friends had no proper jobs. We were viewed as
criminals by our community and no one wanted to associate with us. I worked hard on
the little farming land we had and sought some temporary jobs here and there.
Pray for strength and encouragement for those who are in prison, and for provision
and comfort for their families.
Tuesday, July 13
When Aditi (16) and her parents became Christians, their community mocked and rejected them, whilst relatives withdrew financial support. Aditi was about to abandon her studies when you stepped in to pay her school fees.
Despite ongoing challenges, the family trusts in God. “It’s true that we need courage to trust in God. And that courage comes through prayer,” Aditi’s father shares.
Ask the Lord to build up Aditi through her studies, and pray that her relatives will receive Jesus as Lord.
Wednesday, July 14
Since starting a church a few years ago, which around 200 people now attend, Suraj has been closely watched by Hindu extremists. They are angry that people have left their traditional faith to go to his church. The hostility came to a head when they beat him for three hours, threatening further consequences unless he shuts the church.
Pray for protection of Suraj and his family, and that God will use the witness of the church to draw the extremists to the love of Jesus.
Thursday, July 15
Praveen and his wife Shanti became Christians after God healed Shanti when a local pastor prayed for her. But their new faith led to hostility from the wider family, who refused to give Praveen land that he had inherited. The couple set up their own shop, but it didn’t make a profit – and then the pandemic hit. Today the shop is running well after you provided goods to fill their shelves. “I am so grateful for the kind help,” Shanti shares.
“It greatly encouraged our faith to know that there are others standing with us” –‘PASTOR SAMEER’
Pray that the love shown to Praveen and Shanti will powerfully impact their family and community.
Friday, July 15
In the run up to local elections, Hindu extremists burned down the hut where a church led by Pastor Sameer gathered, accusing the Christians of embracing a ‘foreign’ religion and persuading people to vote against their Hindu political party.
With your help, the church has built a new place to meet. “It greatly encouraged our faith to know that there are others standing with us,” Pastor Sameer shares. “Since the church hall is bigger, even more people come to our church.”
Give thanks to God that He has made the church fruitful in the land of their suffering (Genesis 41:52).
Saturday, July 16
15-year-old Tara lives in the same house as her family, but is completely rejected by them because of her faith in Jesus. She came to faith after a friend invited her to church, where she could receive prayer for healing from an illness. “My sickness was healed. It was then I started believing in Jesus. I found peace that I had never known – everything in my life started making sense.”
When she told her family, they warned her not to talk to anyone else in the house and to stay in her small room. “I cannot touch anything in the kitchen of the house. The rest of the members of the house say, ‘Everything, even water, would become impure if you would even touch it.’
Pray for other young people like Tara who are the only believers in their families, and face persecution from their relatives. Pray that they will be comforted by the love of their Heavenly Father, and their global church family.
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