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News / Thoughts

India: Church destroyed three times

September 3, 2018

Sujit is a pastor of a church in India. He’s known the cost of following Jesus pretty much since he chose to become a Christian.

“When I first accepted Jesus, my family was forced by the local villagers to expel me from the house because of my faith. Though my family members are still Hindus, I have seen miracles happen in Jesus’ name, and have clearly witnessed God transform the lives of many people. I was able to lead 60 people to Christ in and around the village I live in.”

He has been caring for this flock of believers for 15 years, and last year they decided to build a church building so they would have somewhere big enough to meet all together. Sujit says, “We were so happy and excited that we would have a separate place to worship, but they never let it happen.”

Church building destroyed three times

The ‘they’ Sujit refers to are RSS, an extremist group who have vowed to free India of Christians and Muslims by the end of 2021.

Sujit says, “When we began the construction of the church, one of the well known people in the village (who is also a retired army officer) made a false complaint to the RSS leaders that we were luring people to Christianity using money. After this, the RSS groups from other villages made many visits to our village, conducted meetings with the villagers and instigated the Hindus against us. Thereafter, there were constant attacks on the construction sites.”

Three times the church building was destroyed as Sujit and his church members tried to construct it. The first time it was attacked as the foundations were being laid. The second time it was attacked just as the church walls had been completed. The third time the roof had just been laid.

During the third attack on the church building, Sujit was told that it was happening. He ran to the site to try and stop them, but was himself attacked. He was badly beaten up.

Secret church leader

After this, Sujit and his wife had a difficult decision to make. “My wife and I had to leave the place I had been serving for the last 15 years. It was heartbreaking.”

He still returns to meet with his church members in secret, and hopes that one day they will be able to build a church. He says, “Houses are too small to accommodate all the Christians who come from nearby villages. Please pray. I believe God will certainly open the way to resume the construction work.”

Sujit was able to attend persecution survival training run by Open Doors partners. He says, “In my distress, I was greatly comforted when God spoke to me through the teachings in the seminar where I was reminded of Mary and Joseph who also had to flee to Egypt when Herod was seeking to kill Jesus.

“The lonely feeling in my heart also disappeared when I heard about so many people who were suffering with joy for Jesus. I was also able to share these teachings with my church members during my secret visits to my previous village.”

Your prayers and support are also helping to pay the school fees for Sujit’s two daughters, who are 10 and 12.

Pray now…

  • For Sujit and his family as they continue to follow Jesus despite persecution. Ask for courage, protection and favour.
  • For the secret church that Sujit still pastors. Pray for a safe place they can meet and ask that they would be able to build their own church soon without fear of attacks.
  • For peace and that those with extremist ideas would come to know the truth of Jesus.

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