Akhilesh led his family to faith in Christ after being physically healed through prayer. As others joined in their family worship and placed their faith in Christ, a church grew. Eventually, 2,000 people were meeting for worship during the week. A radical Hindu leader warned Akhilesh that he would face serious consequences if he did not close down the church, but they continued to meet. Then, in September 2022, police arrested Pastor Akhilesh for his gospel work and confiscated the family’s Bibles.

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Categories: iCommitToPray

While 80 Christians gathered on Feb. 19, 2023, to worship, a mob of Hindu extremists broke into the church and demanded proof that they had permission to be there. When the mob began to attack Pastor Zahir, his son, Ashok, defended him and also became a target. The two men were kicked, punched and beaten with a microphone stand until they were both bleeding and unconscious. Other members of the congregation were also injured as the mob ransacked the church while shouting Hindu slogans. When the police arrived, they took Zahir into custody and questioned him but refused to accept his criminal complaint against the attackers.

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Categories: iCommitToPray

Pastor Gangireddy died July 14, 2023, from burns he suffered during an attack on July 8. The church continues to face pressure from Hindu radicals, who have planted signs in front of the church with slogans like “Born a Hindu, Die a Hindu.” This attack was the third against the church, which Pastor Gangireddy planted 20 years ago. Amid much opposition, Pastor Gangireddy stayed in the village and faithfully shared the gospel until his death.

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Categories: iCommitToPray

Pastor Vinod was killed in 2021, leaving behind his wife, Sunita, and 13-year-old daughter, Stuti. They have struggled emotionally and financially with their loss while living with Hindu family members who refuse to help them. Front-line workers have helped them get counseling, which has given them tools to express and process their emotions and begin to regain some joy.

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Categories: iCommitToPray

Bibles and SD cards that contain Bibles as well as other Christian materials are having a profound impact in India. One recipient, Angira, said, “I received an SD card that would change our lives. As we began listening to its contents, we discovered the teachings of Jesus Christ, which resonated deeply within us. Eventually, we made the decision to embrace our faith and received baptism. Today, we are proud members of the local church, actively engaging with our community by sharing the gospel with others.”

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Categories: iCommitToPray

Since 2020, Pastor Santosh has been harassed and pressured by members of the Hindu nationalist group RSS. His church has been vandalized, he has been threatened and struck, and the group has repeatedly pressured the police to file charges against him for conversion of Hindus. In October 2022, he was jailed for a month without bail. “When a person goes to jail, he breaks,” Santosh said. “I felt broken, too. After coming out of the jail, I was petrified. I did not go any place for months.

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Categories: iCommitToPray

Hindu radicals disrupted a worship service on Feb. 6, 2022, accusing Pastor Ramesh Verma of breaking anti-conversion laws. Police arrested Ramesh and placed him in jail. For the first 15 days, Ramesh asked God why he allowed this to happen. But when his son brought him a Bible and other prisoners became interested in what it had to say, Ramesh’s perspective changed: he began to minister to his fellow prisoners and lead them to Christ. He and his younger son distributed 60 New Testaments in the prison.

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Categories: iCommitToPray

Though predominantly Hindu, India is also home to one of the world’s largest Muslim populations. One bold evangelist is making sure they hear the gospel, despite persecution from both Muslims and Hindus. Harikiran was born into a Hindu family, but he came to know Christ at age 15 after his sister-in-law was healed from a lengthy illness. When modern medicine and witchcraft had failed to improve her condition, she and her family accepted a pastor’s invitation to visit his church. They soon came to know Christ, and Harikiran’s sister-in-law quickly recovered. “From that day,” he said, “we decided to follow Jesus.” In his eagerness to share the peace and healing his family had experienced, Harikiran began telling others about his new Christian faith. As a result, he has faced many challenges over the past couple of decades as he has continued to tell others about Jesus. He has been arrested three times, jailed for a week, beaten, and harassed by a mob of Hindu activists. But none of these difficulties have hindered Harikiran from sharing the gospel. “If we save one woman or one man,” he said, “it will be worth it. Not a single person should be without God.”

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Categories: Stories from the Field

Lavanya’s whole family came to faith in Christ after she was miraculously healed from paralysis and other disabilities she had struggled with since birth. She loved to travel with her father, Prakash, when he would share the gospel with others. Prakash was warned by Hindu radicals to stop his evangelistic outreach. On Jan. 16, 2023, while Prakash and Lavanya were traveling home via bike from a neighboring village, some who had threatened Prakash followed them in a vehicle and caused the bike to crash, seriously injuring father and daughter.

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On Dec. 26, 2021, Pastor Jawahar was in his home in Madhya Pradesh state, talking with other members of the church, when Hindu fanatics – including police officers – entered, accusing these Christians of trying to convert Hindus by fraud. After interrogation and intimidation in the home, the police took Jawahar and two elders to the police station and charged them with coerced conversion under the state’s so-called “Freedom of Religion” law. Pastor Jawahar was jailed for 45 days without due legal process.

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Categories: iCommitToPray