Outreach Team Attacked in Maharashtra; Pastors' Wives Beaten in Chhattisgarh

Wednesday, August 9, 2006

MAHARASHTRA, INDIA (ANS) -- In July, three students from a Gospel for Asia Bible college in Maharashtra were hospitalized after being attacked and severely beaten by a group of anti-Christian extremists.

A month later, two pastors’ wives were stripped and beaten before a village council for their faith in Christ.

Both incidents are evidence of the growing oppression of Christians in central India, says Gospel for Asia President K.P. Yohannan.

The three students, along with a few Christians from a local church, were returning from sharing the Gospel in a neighboring village when they were attacked. The Hindu fundamentalists beat the believers with belts and large sticks, and pummeled them with their fists.

But a group of local residents saw the attack and intervened to break up the beating and rescue the believers.

The pastors’ wives in Chhattisgarh state were “dragged before the community council, stripped naked and beaten for accepting Jesus and following Him,” reported GFA regional leader M.A. Lalachan.

Despite beatings and humiliations, believers in central India continue to stand strong. The students injured in the attack were released from the hospital after three days, and the women are recover ing.

“They are all back to the ministry again,” wrote a GFA field correspondent reporting on the Maharashtra team. “They are determined and committed to the cause.”

Earlier in the day of the attack on the students, 12 people in the village visited by the team had come to the Lord. “A new mission station has been started there,” wrote the correspondent.

“Believers are experiencing increased persecution and attacks,” noted Dr. Yohannan. “It is our duty and our privilege to stand with them in prayer and fasting, that we may share in our calling to see millions of lost men, women and children come to know the love and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.”