It is the healing power of God that is drawing many to faith in Jesus in India. This was the case for Mohan (not his real name) after his father became sick. He says, “We did everything we could to appease the gods. We sacrificed hens, goats and pigs. We prayed to the gods, but we all felt miserable. One of the villagers had become a Christian and he told us we should stop worshipping idols and our ancestors. We should pray to Jesus instead. When we did, my father was healed. There was no more sickness in my family. Of course, we followed Jesus after that. To be honest, we never anticipated resistance.”
But resistance came. Mohan says, “The villagers saw we were happy and healthy. They asked what was happening. We explained that we now followed Jesus. They did not like this and asked us to leave the village.” Mohan’s family didn’t leave, and in the ten years since they came to faith, they have faced repeated discrimination and attack. On one occasion fifteen men came to their house, tied his parents’ hands behind their backs, and forced them to stand in a pool of water up to their shoulders until Mohan’s brothers could pay for their release. The couple were kept like this for 17 hours. When Mohan’s father died, their Hindu relatives wouldn’t allow him to be buried in the village; Mohan’s family had to bury him in the jungle.
Open Doors’ local partners have given Mohan’s pastor essential training on the legal rights of Christians and the responsibilities of the police. Many believers are uneducated and don’t know about their rights or even that the police are supposed to help them, so such training is vital. Earlier this year, after Mohan was harassed about his Christian faith by a group of drunk men carrying sticks, Mohan’s pastor supported him in taking this incident to the police. At first the police refused to help, but eventually a police official told the villagers that Mohan is allowed to be a Christian, and they must stop persecuting him. Mohan feels much safer now. He says, “I don’t have to move to another village. Three other families who were pushed out of the village are seriously considering coming back. I thank all the brothers and sisters who sent me their help and prayed for me.”
Source: Open Doors
Bible Study: Acts 9:33-35
OCTOBER Thank God that, despite the persecution, Mohan’s family have remained faithful to Christ. Praise God they eventually received police support.
PRAY WIDER for other Christian families to now return to the village.