Hindu radicals in the area had warned him to leave. Pastor Gideon Periyaswamy and his church were attracting a lower caste of people to the area, and that was unacceptable to the high-caste villagers living nearby. “Leave this village, or else we will make life difficult for you,” they had told him. But Periyaswamy knew the risks of serving the Lord in his homeland of India. “If the Lord permits it, I would die as a martyr for Christ,” he had told a fellow pastor. Periyaswamy had left Hinduism for Christ when he was a young man and had served in ministry for most of his life. In 2015, he planted a church in a high-caste Hindu area near the city of Chennai in Tamil Nadu state, India. Unsurprisingly, he was not welcomed by local Hindu activists. Radical Hindus harassed him nearly every Sunday, and in 2017 they even beat him. Still, Periyaswamy urged his congregation to try to live peacefully with their neighbors. Then, on the morning of January 20, 2018, members of Periyaswamy’s congregation discovered his body hanging from the ceiling of hishome. Upon closer investigation, it was apparent that the unmarriedpastor had been murdered and then hanged

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Categories: Foxe: Voices of the Martyrs

On Dec. 6, a mob of Hindu nationalists vandalized a Christian school in Madhya Pradesh state. The attackers destroyed the school with stones and iron rods as students tried to complete their exams. The school had received advance warning of the attack and had requested police support, but according to school officials, the police advised the school to expect the crowd only to shout slogans and then leave.

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Categories: iCommitToPray

A Christian father and his adult son were attacked by villagers while pumping water in Rajasthan state. The two men went to the village water pump one evening for their nightly needs. A group of villagers were near the pump partying and drinking. They began yelling at the Christian men, saying, “You are Christians and have no right to have water!”

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Categories: iCommitToPray

Three Indian believers were arrested after sharing the gospel and interrogated by police for more than nine hours. After their arrest and while they were still in custody, one of the wives of the men wrote, “I am feeling at peace knowing God is in control of this situation. I am asking that He would be glorified and the national believers to be encouraged and their faith strengthened. I am starting to feel tired and drained, but still hopeful in Him and all the ways He desires to use this and be glorified.”

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Categories: iCommitToPray

Four masked gunmen charged into Mohammad Yousuf Bhat’s home on the evening of July 1, 2015, pushed his wife aside and demanded to talk to him. After he stepped forward, the gunmen escorted the 43-year-old father of three outside his home in the Kashmir Valley and shot him seven times, killing him. Those who worked with Yousuf describe him as being a fearless, bold and passionate believer who “would not be quiet about Christ.” In the end, his unflinching faith and evangelism of Kashmiri Muslims in North India led to his death. Since leaving Islam himself in 1999, Yousuf had known his life could end this way. SHARING HIS TESTIMONY While India is nearly 81 percent Hindu, the territory of Jammu and Kashmir is predominantly Muslim. In the Kashmir Valley, 97 percent of the nearly 7 million residents are Muslim. Islamic militants in the region have created a war zone in which both government soldiers and civilians are attacked by various radical groups. Villagers, especially Christians, have become anxious since Yousuf ’s murder. They are even afraid to speak of it. Before his death, Yousuf discussed the Islamists’ efforts to stop the spread of Christianity and the fear this caused

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Categories: Stories from the Field

After holding a rally, radicals in Gujarat state issued a statement to district authorities telling them that if they did not stop church activities in the region, the radicals would take matters into their own hands. The document issued by the radicals listed the names of 56 churches and pastors and gave district authorities three days to act.

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Categories: iCommitToPray