“All over the city, their men are roaming to catch hold of Christian ministers to accuse them falsely of forcible conversions,” said a senior Indian evangelist in his recent statement.
Lately, two Christian pastors and a church member visited a fellow Christian and carried out their normal practice of prayer, in the Indian state of Jabalpur. As they were to leave the house, few Hindu extremists stormed in the house, accusing the Christian Ministers of forcibly converting Hindus to Christianity.
The argument soon turned into a violent attack as these Christian members were dragged out of the house and were brutally beaten. The extremists furiously injured them while interrogating their practices, and threatening them to stop meeting other fellow Christians even. An angry mob of 60 people also joined in punching and kicking the Christian ministers.
''For to this you were called: because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example. That ye should follow his steps''. (1 Peter 2:21)
The mob accompanied the extremists in driving the Christian preachers to the nearby Police station, where they were handed over to the authorities who harassed the already cowed Christians.
The underlying fact is, that there is a recent increase in the number of people embracing Christianity in India and therefore, the frequency of persecuting Christian evangelists has suddenly raised as well. The notorious Pro-Hindu extremist group, Dharam Sena, is largely carrying out violent attacks against Christian evangelists throughout India today.
"But they will treat you like this on account of My name, because they do not know the One who sent Me". (John 15:21)
Today, let’s take inspiration from the steadfast efforts of ones who stand witness to God’s name despite violence. It is indeed an act of brevity on the part of evangelists, who commit themselves to spread the Gospel in today’s divided world.
''Look, I am sending you out like sheep among wolves; therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves''. (Matthew 10:16)
Let us understand our part in being ‘missionary disciple’ too.
Let us be wary of the worldly forces within us that stop us to stand united in Christian suffering and are hence acting as wolves in our lives this day.
I am the Holy Name representative for Aid to the Church in Need.