Ravi is a 65 year-old Indian Christian. He has faced all kinds of persecution for his faith in Jesus. He tells us his story, saying, “It has been over three decades since I started working as an evangelist. I have faced countless oppositions since then.
“I have been falsely accused of trying to lure people to Christianity in the local newspapers; two times I was beaten brutally and once a group of extremists even came to burn my house. I was terrified that time, but thankfully their plans didn’t succeed. They continued threatening me not to preach.
“Once, during the early days of my ministry when we were younger, my wife and I were both beaten badly by extremists while we were returning from a prayer meeting. They even tore the clothes I was wearing. I felt humiliated and was extremely worried about my wife… The police arrived and stopped them. I was a little relieved, but to my surprise, instead of helping me they threatened me not to continue my ministry. Then we were allowed to go home. That day I was very fearful.”
“Many times I was so very afraid, but over time God helped me understand that I do not need to fear. After some years of continuing the ministry I was able to overcome the fear of persecution. I have been interrogated many times since then, but the police could never find enough charges to arrest me. I never backed off my faith or my ministry because God strengthened me.”
Today, Ravi leads a church with 30 families and continues preaching in all the nearby villages. “Even at this age, I am able to reach 250-300 people with the Word of God in the vicinity of my village. We don’t have a church building that can accommodate so many people, thus we conduct Sunday worship in a tent.”
Sari represents thousands of Christians in India facing rejection and violence because of their faith in Jesus. Open Doors church partners estimate that almost 24,000 Christians were physically attacked in India last year. India is number 11 on the 2018 World Watch List, Open Doors’ annual ranking of the 50 countries where Christians face the most extreme persecution, its highest ever position.
Open Doors has been working through local churches and partners in India since 2000, and the work they do is already extensive, but they have a plan to double their impact and extend their reach to every corner of India over the next two years.
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imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus.