Hindu extremists raped the 4-year-old daughter of a pastor in central India because he refused to stop sharing the Gospel, a missionary in the region reports. Pastor Samuel, from Open Doors, said that over the years, his ministry has come alongside hundreds of Christians persecuted for their faith in India. He told how one pastor and his wife who moved to a small town in Central India began a ministry for children. “They would offer the Gospel to children who were dropped off at their home,” Samuel said. “Before long, these children started doing well at school and changing their behaviour, so their parents became curious and asked about Jesus.”
With a growing interest in Christianity, the pastor and his wife decided to start a church in their home. Around that time, their young daughter started kindergarten at the local school. Not long after the church started, a group of Hindu extremists cornered the pastor and ordered him to stop sharing the Gospel. “They told him to stop holding services, warning him it would have dire consequences,” Samuel said. However, the pastor stood his ground, telling the Hindu extremists, “My God has called me to serve these children and the people of this town. I will continue to preach the Gospel. Do whatever you want to me.”
Soon after the pastor was traveling to a training conference when his wife received a phone call from their daughter’s school telling her the little girl was sick and vomiting. “They said, ‘you should take her to the doctor,’” Samuel said. “She wouldn’t stop crying, so her mother took her to the doctor.” At the hospital, doctors informed her their daughter had been raped. “Some Hindu extremists had raped the 4 year old,” Samuel said. “It shattered the lives of the pastor and his wife.” Despite repeated attempts to launch a police complaint, the pastor and his wife were ignored. “They had no idea what to do; the school denied everything, and police wouldn’t listen,” Samuel said.
“Eventually, one of our volunteers came into contact with them, and we’ve been ministering to them ever since.” “It’s difficult for them, but by God’s grace they were able to be ministered to in their time of difficulty,” he continued. “God is using it. The pastor was telling me when I met him, he would have given up his ministry because of what happened with their child. But they were able to recover and understand that God can still use them to bring others to Christ.” “Today,” he added, “they are continuing their ministry with the children in the same vicinity.”
“Such stories are not uncommon in India. Since the Bharatiya Janata Party rose to power in 2014, Hindu attacks against Christians and other religious minorities have increased,” Samuel said. Now, the government is trying to pass radical conversion laws that would penalize those who convert to Christianity. The government is also seeking to cut foreign funding for Christian and non-profit organizations in efforts to curtail the growth of Christianity. “Christians are being targeted by the government which is seeking to wipe out the church,” Samuel said. “There are violent acts happening every day; more than 50,000 people were affected by violence this year alone.”
Despite such persecution, Samuel said the church in India continues to grow at a rapid pace: “The Spirit of the Lord is working in the hearts and minds of the people.” Miracles, he added, are “happening every day.” “When the church meets for prayer, worship, and Bible study, miracles happen,” he said. “People are receiving the Gospel of Christ and asking Christ to come into their lives. More and more people are coming every week. Even amid this difficult situation, Christians are sharing their faith with their neighbours.” “These people that are going through so many struggles and difficulty are so bold and strong in their faith, and that’s how the church is growing,” he posited.
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