Extremists Disrupt Christian Meeting in Mumbai Slum

Friday, June 1, 2007

MAHARASHTRA, INDIA (ANS) -- Marching to the front of an evangelistic service, about 50 religious extremists--most of them women--forcefully attempted to disrupt the meeting. The extremists snatched the microphone from the speaker’s hands and began shouting anti-Christian remarks through the sound system.

“We have our own gods and goddesses,” one of them exclaimed. “Christianity is a foreign religion and we don’t need it.”

Members of a religious extremist group were protesting at a three-day evangelistic meeting organized by Gospel for Asia missionaries in a slum in Mumbai, India. The tensions escalated on the first two days, and then the final day of the meeting had to be cancelled for the attendees’ safety.

During the first day of the open-air services, a few members of the extremist group sat at the back and tried to disturb the people. They also brought some members of the Indian press to cover the event. Despite the harassment, about 300 people attended, and several received Christ into their lives.

On the second day, the extremists grew more bold and took over the meeting. They even tried to push and shove the missionaries. The GFA missionaries had received proper permission from the local government, and two police officers had been assigned to the meeting area. The police officers called for back-up as soon as the extremists took over the meeting. The extremists scattered when they saw the police vehicles pulling up.

At the request of the police, the missionaries quickly ended the meeting on that day. Although the meeting was cut short, God was at work, and many people’s lives were impacted. In spite of this rough start, the GFA staff in the area are establishing a church for the new believers from the meeting.

The missionaries request prayer that the extremists who disrupted the meeting will come to know the Lord in a personal way. They also request prayer for protection from further harassment and persecution, and that the Lord will bless the newly forming church.