A few weeks ago, I posted about believers in northern India who had been threatened with being burned to death if they did not re-convert to Hinduism. Thank you for praying for our brothers and sisters in Christ. I received this report last week from Gospel for Asia, who sponsored the pastor and church under threat:
It is with great joy that I can share with you that the threat against 60 of our Believers Church members in Himachal Pradesh has been thwarted.
A reporter from Compass Direct news service has let us know that members of a Believers Church in that north Indian state met peacefully last Sunday, even after receiving death and arson threats from Hindu extremists.
“We were able to meet without incident,” said Ramish Masih Battih, the son of Pastor Feroz Masih.
As you may recall, members of the World Hindu Council (VHP) and its youth wing, Bajrang Dal, attacked Masih. After beating him, they told Masih that if he and his 60 church members failed to take part in a “re-conversion” ceremony on November 20, they would burn them to death.
Your prayers were answered, however, and the planned re-conversion ceremony was dropped, apparently due to police intervention.
The police pointed out that the attacks were made by people who were misleading the public into thinking that Christians force people to convert to their faith.
“There are many illiterate people who can easily be misled to believe that Christians are forcibly converting Hindus,” a police official said. “These misconceptions are the root of the problem.”
Police tried to arrange a meeting between our pastor and the men who attacked him, but the attackers had gone into hiding and could not be contacted.
One positive outcome of this incident is that people in the area now know that those who come to faith in Christ are doing so because of the power of the Gospel, not the coercion of men. At a press conference attended by the media and others, many of the new believers testified that they had accepted Christ of their own free will–often because they had been healed of their diseases.
Let us rejoice in this victory for these faithful believers, and thank our Lord for His intervention. Also, let us continue to pray that even more men, women and children in Himachal Pradesh will respond to the love of Christ, even in the face of hate. Pray also that those who tried to harm the Christians will come to understand God’s love and grace for them.