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India: VBS Leaders Arrested for Kidnapping

Children in India reading the Bible

Sixty children in India were singing Christian songs and reading the Bible as they traveled by train to their VBS camp this summer. When they reached their destination, the police arrived and arrested nine adult VBS leaders for kidnapping the children!

Some Hindus in India do not want Christianity to spread in their country. The VBS group had attracted the attention of radical Hindus during their trip. The Hindus called the police and falsely reported that the VBS leaders were kidnapping the children and converting people to Christianity by force.

Three of the leaders were released on bail after 40 days. But the other six remained in jail.

Please pray that the children’s faith will grow and that they will have other opportunities to learn more about Jesus. Ask God to strengthen the VBS leaders. And pray that Hindus will remember the songs and Bible verses they heard from the children and will seek the truth.

Learn more about Hinduism here.


“Hard to Get Rid of the Church”

Burned church in India

The population of Uttar Pradesh is about 204 million. If Uttar Pradesh were a country, it would be one of the top 10 most populated countries in the world.

But Uttar Pradesh is not a country; it’s one of India’s states.

What Would You Do?
About 80 percent of the people in Uttar Pradesh are Hindus. The number of Christians is increasing, and some of the churches in Uttar Pradesh have as many members as some churches in the United States. But the persecution of Christians is also increasing.

Radical Hindus have attacked pastors and burned down churches. Some churches began meeting in tents, but enemies tore down the tents.

What would you do if you belonged to a church in Uttar Pradesh that was attacked? Would you keep building churches or setting up tents that might be torn down? Would you stop going to church? What do you think some Indian Christians are doing?

Some of the churches started meeting outside! “When you can just meet under the trees, it’s hard to get rid of the church!” an Indian pastor said. “Now we are not bound by a building.”

To Talk About
*What would be some good things about meeting outside?
*What would the hardest part of meeting outside?
*Are there any items inside a church that are absolutely necessary for holding a church service?


India: Pastor Mocked and Bullied

Village pastor in India

A Christian pastor was recently mocked and bullied in his home state of Uttar Pradesh in India. A gang of Hindu youth took the pastor from his home, and shaved off his hair, eyebrows, and mustache. Then the mob put the pastor on a donkey and paraded him up and down the city’s streets. They hung a necklace of shoes around the pastor’s neck as a symbol of shame.

The radical youth were angry because the pastor helped other Hindus trust in Jesus as their Savior. You can read more about what Hindus believe here.

Pray for Christian pastors in India who obey Jesus’ command to share their faith (Matthew 28:19), even though people may mock and bully them.

To learn more about Christians in India, download Bold Believers in India from the Download section.


Lesson Plan: Learn About India

Find suggestions for teaching a Sunday school class or other group about persecution and India here.

Highlights
*Teach the children to say “yes” (“hah”) and “no” (“nuh-HEE”) in Hindi.
*Play a game from India.
*Make a tissue flower and butterfly prayer reminder.
*Learn about castes and Dalits.
*What do Hindus believe?
*Unexpected helpers: Jeremiah 38 and a present-day story from India.


India: Bible Trek

(from the KOC archives)

Supporters of The Voice of the Martyrs send financial gifts to VOM to purchase Bibles for people in other countries. VOM then distributes the Bibles in places where it is often hard to find or buy a Bible.

But a lot happens between the time when VOM receives the money and someone in another country reads the Bible!

Visit this post from the VOM archives and watch the slide show to see photos of a VOM Bible distribution in India.