Christians in India are urgently asking for our prayers as they find themselves caught between two crises: pandemic and persecution. So we have set aside July to pray with them. There is much to pray into, but also much to be grateful for. Thank you - your prayers make such a difference and mean so much to your persecuted family. This is the third week of prayer points. All names have been changed for security reasons.
“So many times, people share with us that they're almost on the verge of giving up their faith. But your support has strengthened them and brought them into a new, strengthened relationship again with God.” – Open Doors local partner
Keep praying for Tara (15), who became a Christian after a friend invited her to church where, after receiving prayer, she was healed of an illness.
Sadly, Tara was ostracised by her parents who confined her to her small room and treated her as impure, not allowing her to touch anything in the kitchen. Open Doors partners helped Tara get admission to a boarding school. However, due to Covid-19 she is back living with her family.
Ask the Lord to use this time to reveal His love to Tara’s family.
Covid-19 has exacerbated the persecution of Christians in India, and many believers have faced discrimination in the distribution of aid. But your support has ensured food relief has reached over 126,000 believers in India during the pandemic.
“We were so discouraged when they ignored us while distributing relief aid to all in the village,” shares Aarti. “I thank the brothers for travelling this far and blessing us with groceries in our hour of need.”
Pray that Open Doors partners will be able to meet the needs of more believers during the pandemic.
When 18-year-old Nikhil gave his life to Jesus, his brothers beat him and he was kicked out of the family home. Coming from a high caste, the family were embarrassed that Nikhil chose Christianity.
Thankfully, Nikhil’s pastor allowed him to stay at his church, whilst Open Doors local partners came alongside him with the provision of food aid. “My own family disowned me but now you are my family,” Nikhil shares.
Pray that Nikhil will flourish in his faith and studies.
Do you remember the story of Vinita? During the same attack, Preetha, the pastor’s wife, was attacked with a metal rod. She was left unconscious and her hand was nearly cut off. Like Vinita, Preetha was refused medical treatment at the hospital because of pressure from the extremists who attacked her.
"Had Open Doors partners not helped us, I would have died" 'Preetha'
Thankfully, your support meant she received care at a private hospital. “Had Open Doors partners not helped us, I would have died,” shares Preetha, whose hand has been permanently damaged and still causes her pain.
Pray for complete healing.
Many Christians in India face social exclusion for being Christians, including Sumitra who was unable to get work in her local community. “We could barely manage to have meals twice a day,” she says.
But with your prayers and support, Open Doors local partners helped to create a small cottage industry making chips, providing an income for Sumitra and other Christian families denied work because of their faith. “I thank you for bringing happiness in my life,” Sumitra shares.
Pray that God will use the business to bless not just the Christian families but the whole community.
Thousands of believers in India have received digital Bibles, thanks to your generosity. They enable Christians to listen to the Bible as an audio book, which is a huge help to Christians with low levels of literacy.
The digital Bibles – which also feature videos and testimonies – are also ideal for believers who need to be discreet when reading the Bible. “I can easily hide it when there is a security issue,” shares Akshay.
Pray that God will use these Bibles in an instrumental way to build the faith of believers in India.
Mahesh is a pastor in his 50s. He and members of his church have faced a string of false accusations by Hindu extremists, even facing arrest after being accused of forcibly converting people.
But now they are better equipped to deal with accusations after receiving training from Open Doors local partners – and it wasn’t long before the church had to put this into practice. “I was well educated on how to deal with it and thus talked to the authorities boldly, quoting my rights,” Mahesh shares.
Pray that Open Doors can reach more believers with this training so they will have courage and wisdom to defend their rights.
Raise vital funds for vulnerable believers in India by getting sponsored to walk a route and distance of your choice in the summer – all whilst discovering more about what it’s like to live as a Christian in the country.
Your support helps persecuted Christians continue to courageously follow Jesus.
Together, we can reach those where persecution hits hardest.