As Persecution Rises, the Church Grows
In the early church when persecution arose, the church flourished and spread. Stephen’s death in Acts caused a great persecution and scattering the church resulting in Christianity spreading from a handful of people to the entire Roman empire and beyond within the first three centuries. Centuries later Communist China began with three million Christians in the 1970s expanding to more than 130 million today. In these and many other cases of persecution throughout history the gospel has only seemed to thrive and call even more people to Jesus’ Saving Grace.
A pattern has arisen from church history – it is not uncommon to see churches grow under persecution. This same pattern is repeating itself in India today. With persecution of the church in India on the rise, so too, is the spread of the gospel message. In the last seven months alone 3,852 churches have been planted by IGL pastors! Lives are being radically transformed by our Savior, even some of the radical Hindus persecuting the church have come face-to-face with the Living God through the witness of believers.
Manasranjan was a powerful leader in one of the radical Hindu movements and would attend a local IGL church just to argue with and torment believers. He even threatened the youth with warnings to use his political sway to hinder their future. But all of his threats and animosity were met with something he did not account for – the overpowering love of Jesus! Instead of fear or defensiveness, Manasranjan witnessed only compassion and mercy from the believers. Eventually he was so overcome by the love shown him, he believed and accepted Jesus as his personal Savior. Now Manasranjan and his whole family attend church regularly to be fed by the Word instead of tearing it down. Praise God!