Friday, January 28, 2011

Anti-Christian extremists in South Asia use religious festivals to harass Christians

In one South Asian state, Christians in two different villages have been harassed and intimidated by anti-Christian extremists, who are using their religious festivals as opportunities to humiliate the believers, reported Gospel for Asia.

People in Pastor Jakson Kinar’s village erected a statue of a local goddess directly in front of the place where his small congregation meets. They then sang loudly in front of the idol to disturb services. When an annual religious festival was underway, the villagers put up a stage with loudspeakers and increased their harassment of Christians.

Bagirathi Singh, who is pastor of a church in another part of the state, said his congregation of 34 believers is experiencing similar difficulties. Political leaders from the village have threatened believers, warning them not to attend services. Government services are also being withheld from some believers.

During local religious festivals, villagers often demand believers continue contributing money to pay for the religious festival, even after they choose to follow Jesus. Some of the believers have paid the money out of fear.

You can read the full Gospel for Asia report here.

"This is truly a time we need to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our brothers and sisters, holding them up in prayer before God's throne of grace. Please pray with me for our faithful workers and believers in this area, and for those who oppose them, that they will be transformed by the power of God's love." — GFA President K.P. Yohannan

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