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Wedding Day in Jail

[Photo: Ramish and Summandi]

One day, Ramish, a young man in India, attended a wedding party where he met a young woman named Summandi. The two became good friends, and Ramish wanted to marry Summandi.

Like the majority of people in India, Summandi’s father was a Hindu.  But Summandi, her mother, and her siblings were Christians, and Summandi did not want to marry a man who did not follow Jesus.

Summandi tried to explain her faith to Ramish, but often they just ended up arguing. Then Ramish became ill with malaria. After he experienced healing through prayer, he trusted in Christ as his Savior, and Summandi agreed to marry him.

Arrested
Summandi’s father and village leaders did not approve of their plans to have a Christian wedding. Villagers began to plot an attack on the couple. So Ramish and Summandi went to the police station to ask for help. But the police arrested them and put them in jail on false charges! They spent May 30, 2018, the day they had planned to get married, in jail. Their pastor and a woman from their church went to the police station to get Ramish and Summandi released, and the police arrested them, too.

Six weeks later, the four Christians were freed. Ramish and Summandi had a small, quiet wedding ceremony. Since then, they have moved to a new city and started a house church. They are thankful that they have each other, and they know that God will always be with them.

(Source: The September The Voice of the Martyrs magazine. Edited for length, clarity, and age-appropriateness.)

Thankful for Prayer
The woman from Ramish and Summandi’s church wept when she learned about a post on a VOM website about their situation. She was moved to learn about the prayers Christians in the United States had offered when she and the other Christians were in prison.

Can you choose a Christian on this website or on prisoneralert.com to pray for today?


India: Attacks on the Rise

India

Prakash and the Bull
Prakash is a Hindu farmer in India. Hindu teachings tell of many gods, even though Hindus may believe in one main god. Hindus have great respect for idols of Hindu gods.

Prakash did not always behave well. Sometimes he drank a lot of liquor and got drunk. He attended Christian worship services from time to time. Perhaps he was looking for the truth and for answers to his problems.

One day, a stray bull wandered into Prakash’s field. Prakash threw a rock at the bull to scare it away. But Prakash was drunk, and he missed the bull. Instead he hit a Hindu idol standing at the edge of his field.

Read the rest of this entry »


India: Father and Sons Encourage Anxious Christians

In 2008, a Hindu priest in India was attacked, and he died of his wounds. A Maoist (Communist) group admitted that they were responsible for the attack.

But some Hindus blamed Christians for the crime. The police arrested seven Christian men and put them in prison. Two of the men were Budhadeb Nayak and Gornath Chalanseth.

Encouragement
At first, Budhadeb was distressed in prison and hardly able to sleep. He worried about his wife and children. His friend Gornath comforted him and reminded him that God was with them. “Cast out all your burdens to Jesus,” Gornath told Budhadeb. “Jesus will fix all your problems.”

[See 1 Peter 5:7.]

Ruth
Gornath’s wife, Ruth, cried for three or four months after the men were imprisoned. “I was very much worried,” she said. “I used to think, how will I raise my children?”

Then her 14-year-old son encouraged Ruth just as his father had encouraged Budhadeb. “Mom, why can’t you pray?” he asked her. “If you start praying, God will comfort you. God will solve your problems.”

Ruth’s 7-year-old son also encouraged her. “Come to our room,” he said to his mother. “Let us pray. We only hope on Jesus. He will solve our problems.”

Ruth received help from other Christians, including The Voice of the Martyrs. “Then a lot of godly people began to help us,” said Ruth. “Whatever needs we had slowly became solved.”

After 11 years, the men were freed. (See the photo above of Ruth, her children, and friends welcoming Gornath when he was released.) In prison, Gornath had promised God,” If You will release me from jail, I will proclaim Your gospel and I will serve You.” He has not forgotten the promise. “Every Sunday I go and I share the gospel,” he said.

To Think About
Is there a Christian child or adult you can encourage today?

(Source: August 2020 The Voice of the Martyrs magazine. Edited for length and age-appropriateness.)


India: Pray for Monalisa

[Photo: Christian children in India]

Twelve years ago, angry Hindus in India attacked Christian churches, homes, and families. About 56,000 Christians lost their homes. Workers from The Voice of the Martyrs visit and encourage Indian Christians who still need help after the attacks.

Pastor Dibya, his wife, Puspanjali, and their 10-year-old daughter, Monalisa, lived in the area that was attacked. “When my husband started work here,” said Puspanjali, “only eight families were Christians. When people were sick, he would pray for them and miracles would take place. Just a couple months later, 28 families had come to the Lord.”

Attacks and More Threats
Sadly, Pastor Dibya was one of the Christians who died in the Hindu attacks. Despite her broken heart, Monalisa clung to her faith. “If they want to attack us like they did Papa, don’t worry, Mama, we’ll also stand for Jesus,” she told Puspanjali.

Violent Hindus continued to threaten Christians. So Monalisa and Puspanjali had to leave their village and move in with Monalisa’s grandparents, who were devout Hindus.

Coming Home
Under the grandparents’ influence, Monalisa and Puspanjali began to drift away from their Christian faith little by little. But then, Puspanjali became seriously ill, and doctors were not able to help her. She cried out to the Lord and asked for His forgiveness.

Puspanjali then moved back to her village. She now carries on Pastor Dibya’s ministry sharing the gospel.

Please Pray
But Monalisa did not go back to the village. She is now 22, has a son, and has not returned to following Christ. Puspanjali sees her from time to time.

Will you say a prayer today for Monalisa? Below are some suggestions for prayer. Can you think of others?

*Pray that Monalisa will understand that she can be forgiven for neglecting her faith and can return to following God’s will for her life.
*Pray that Monalisa will teach her son the truth about Jesus.
*Pray that Monalisa’s grandparents will open their hearts to God’s love for them.
*Pray that government officials and police officers in India will be diligent in protecting Christians from attacks.

(Source: August 2020 The Voice of the Martyrs magazine. Edited for length and age-appropriateness.)


This Month

Parents and Teachers

The August 2020 issue of The Voice of the Martyrs magazine tells stories of Christians who survived attacks by radical Hindus in India. Some of the stories are too intense for most younger readers. You can find adapted versions of the stories from the magazine in upcoming posts on this site, then pray with your children for the Christians in the stories. The August issue also includes reports from Guinea, Pakistan, Indonesia, and Central Asia.

Related Resources

* To subscribe to the free monthly The Voice of the Martyrs magazine, visit the subscription signup page.
*The Voice of the Martyrs’ Global Prayer Guide includes information about Christians in the featured countries.
*Download Bold Believers activity books for kids that highlight several countries here.
*Watch video clips about Christians from several of the countries in the Video section of this site.