This past month has been very hard on Christians in India. Persecution is rising and the cost of being a Christian is ever increasing-for some paying with their own lives. Did you hear about the pastor who was beheaded two weeks ago? Read about it here.
Fifty-eight believers have been arrested in the last month and have been taken to a large central prison in Ranchi, the capital of the state of Jharkhand. But, this story isn’t a sad one. These believers are REJOICING! They feel like Paul and Silas in prison. During this month of incarceration they have handed out over 300 New Testament bibles. Through visits from different pastors and friends these believers have been able to get these bibles inside and hand them out to those who want to learn more about Jesus. Hundreds are being saved right there in the prison! These believers rejoice that the Lord is using them right where they are at.
One of our pastors from a village named Bokaro was arrested 2 months ago. A young woman and her parents accepted Christ as their personal savior but just a few weeks later the girl met a Hindu man and fell in love with him. Pastor Suleiman approached her and said that it wasn’t in her best interest as a Christian to be involved or marry a Hindu man, knowing he would try to convert her back to Hinduism. She became immediately upset and started screaming out in the village. A crowd soon gathered around them and the villagers dragged Pastor Suleiman to the police department. Knowing this pastor hadn’t committed a crime, the Chief of Police tried to oblige the large angry mob by bringing Pastor Suleiman in his office to sit and talk. This angered the mob even more because the Chief was allowing this criminal to sit casually in his office. The mob began riotting and getting out of control. To avoid any more problems from the riotting mob the Chief of Police put Pastor Suleiman in prison.
In Jharkhand a prisoner has 90 days to be bailed out of jail, along with the fines paid, the need to have someone vouch that they will follow certain restrictions. If the bail is not paid in the 90 day time frame they are moved to a central prison and will remain there for 3 years without bail.
Pastor Suleiman has 30 days left before he will be imprisoned for 3 more years. In Bokaro he has a church of 125 believers, a wife and 2 children. Our leadership team in India is trying to raise the money to release him and make the trip to personally vouch for him. He needs $3000 to be released.
Help for Persecuted Victims
Photo used from: https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/indian-prisoners-of-war-in-pakistan-jail-205016-2014-08-21