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Christians Attacked for Praying on Christmas

India

The following report from a Christian in India told what happened on Christmas last year at a house church.

A widow and her daughter organized a Christmas prayer meeting at their house at 7:30 p.m. on December 25, 2013. A pastor and other believers gathered to honor Jesus.

Most of the people in their village and in all the nearby villages were Hindus. As the Christians started to worship, about 20 radical Hindus rushed into the house. They shouted at the Christians and scolded everyone in bad language. They said the Christians were spoiling the Hindu culture.

They snatched Bibles from the Christians’ hands and tore them in pieces. Then they called the police and falsely reported that the Christians were forcing Hindus to become Christians. The police came and took the pastor and five Christians to jail.

A lawyer helped them get released the next morning.

Pray for peace for Christians in India and around the world this Christmas.

To Think About

  • In what ways will you celebrate Christmas this year?
  • Will any of your celebrations put you in danger?
  • How can you use your freedom in ways that honor Jesus?

Ten Things Persecuted Christians Are Thankful For

Give Thanks

Thanksgiving will be celebrated this week in the United States.

To Do and To Discuss

  • List 10 things for which you are thankful.
  • Read below the list of things persecuted Christians have said they are thankful for.
  • How many of the things on their list are available to you?
  • Are there any things on your list and the persecuted Christians’ list that are the same?
  • Can you provide persecuted Christians with anything on their list?

Persecuted Christians Are Thankful For:

The prayers of other Christians
“I knew there were people praying for me. It gave me the spiritual strength I needed to live as a Christian and to trust God.” — A pastor in prison in Asia
Friends who encourage them
“I am thankful that I have many friends here who help me when I’m discouraged.” — A boy who lost his parents in an attack by radical Muslims
Hope in Jesus
“I see people dying, crying, how Jesus gives them hope. This gives me courage. I am convinced there is no better job in the world than to serve God this way.” — Persecuted pastor in Nepal
Encouraging letters
“We have a family of faith that loves us and cares for us. We are not alone! — Maryam Rostampour talking about her feelings when she received letters while in prison in Iran. (Visit Prisoner Alert to learn how to write letters to persecuted Christians in prison.)
God’s Peace
“I started to pray, and I got the peace that is beyond understanding. I felt so close to God at that moment.” — Christian who was arrested in the Middle East
Bibles
“I have longed for this Bible, and now I am thankful.” — Christian in Uganda who received a Bible from The Voice of the Martyrs. VOM provides Bibles through the Bibles to Captive Nations and Bibles Unbound projects.
The conversion of persecutors
“Muslims want to hear the truth. They are just waiting on you and me to share the gospel with them.” — A Christian in Syria
God’s Power
“God is in control, not [the persecutors].” — A Christian in India
Joy in Christ
“I have Christ’s joy in my heart.” — A Chinese Christian prisoner answering another prisoner who said, “I have been watching you; your face is never sad.”
God’s gift of salvation through His Son Jesus
“They can burn down my house, but they can’t burn Jesus from my heart.” — A Christian in Pakistan

Grateful for Bibles and Love

Outside Church

The Voice of the Martyrs’ helpers recently distributed Bibles among a group of refugees in Nepal. The refugees are from Bhutan. (Bhutan and Nepal are northeast of India. Check a map of Asia to see how close Bhutan is to Nepal.)

This photo shows the outside of a church where the Bibles were distributed. As you can see, the people leave their shoes outside the church when they enter.

Inside the church, the Christians were thankful for VOM supporters who made it possible for them to receive Bibles. “We could see the hunger of the believers to receive the word of God,” said the VOM contact. “One of them said, ‘We never thought there were people who love us.’ They are people who have not been loved because they have nothing.”


Sharing the Good News in Karnataka

Karnataka
Delivering Bibles in Karnataka

The Ice Cream Man
Daniel, age 13, lived with his brother, sister, mom, and dad in Karnataka, a state in India. His dad, Pushparaj, was an ice cream man. He sold ice cream from a small ice cream cart.

When Pushparaj sold ice cream to his customers, he also gave them a Christian pamphlet. The pamphlet explained how Jesus saves people from sin.

Because of his Christian witness, radical Hindus beat him up several times. “Jesus was beaten, too,” said Pushparaj. “My beatings were just little ones.”

Daniel and his family were kicked out of their home and rejected by neighbors. But they gained new friends among those who decided to become Christians

Source: Kids of Courage archives

Pastor Gowda
Pastor Gowda, a VOM worker, distributes Bibles in Karnataka, where Daniel and his family live. Last year he supervised the delivery of 10,000 Bibles in a region of Karnataka where Christians are persecuted by radical Hindus.

Who received the Bibles? Here is a list of some of the kinds of people who received them.

  • Some Christians had never owned a Bible and were too poor to buy one.
  • Twelve families were sharing one Bible. Each family got a new Bible.
  • Radical Hindus destroyed many Bibles. The Bibles were replaced.
  • Some who received Bibles had been fasting and praying for a Bible for two or three years.

Before the Bibles were delivered, workers prayed for each Bible and for the pastors who would help distribute them. They asked God to use His word to bring light to the hearts of those who persecute Christians.

Source: July 2014 The Voice of the Martyrs newsletter


Solar Lamp Helps Spread the Gospel

A pastor in a tribal area of India is happy to have a solar-powered lamp provided by VOM. He will use the lamp to read the Bible and to meet with other Christians at night.