In India, many leaders think that being Indian means being a Hindu. That makes life pretty tough for Christians like Maruc.
Maruc is a church leader – he’s often been threatened by Hindu extremists. “Someone may walk up to me in a fit of anger and say: ‘Okay, so these are your kids? I will kidnap them!’ or ‘I will get someone to shoot you dead! If that doesn’t work, I will come myself.’ Everything that you take for granted is now under threat.”
On one occasion, he was told that a group of 300 people would come along to disrupt his Sunday service.
“We prayed through the night. But five minutes before nine o’clock, I see a cop driving his jeep and then he brings a truckload of police personnel with him. They come and sit in a shop just bang opposite the church.
“When I went to see, when the service was over, they all got into their vehicles and went off. And I am convinced God Himself has ordered a whole bunch load of policemen to come and protect us on that morning.”
According to Maruc, Hindus are indoctrinated against Christians and are therefore unwilling to accept help from them: “In 2018 we had floods in Kerala state, South India. A Christian man took his boat and reached a remote house, which was completely inundated. The people were sitting on the roof and they needed someone to help them.
“They asked the boatman, ‘Are you a Christian?’ And when he said ‘yes’, they refused to get into the boat. It defies all logic, but that’s how things have grown.”
Despite the pressure, Maruc believes that God will strengthen the church in India to stand and to continue to shine.
“I believe as a follower of Christ that God is faithful. He said: ‘I will build My church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.’ He will make a way of escape for us out of any situation, any persecution. Or He will give us strength to face it and go through what we need to go through and play our part in the history of Christianity.”
Maruc has a challenge for us to pray for those in authority and even for those who persecute India’s Christians.
“Paul writes: ‘Pray for the leaders and kings and those in authority, so that you will be able to live a peaceful and godly life.’ We want to live a peaceful life, we want to live a godly life in the same country in which we were born. I think it is a good thing for us to pray in those terms. And more importantly, I would pray for the salvation of people… All that needs to happen is that we want India to bow down to the name of Jesus. That’s our desire. That’s why we want to pray. We are interested in the salvation of the very people who are turning against the Christians.”
Choosing to follow Jesus takes courage in India. Get your free copy of our new Guts and Courage resource to learn more about the places in the world where Christians face pressure, violence and intimidation for their faith and get inspired to live out your walk with God with more boldness…
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imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus.