International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church
November 1 and 8 are dedicated to remembering and praying for the persecuted church around the world. Please keep the churches in South Asia in your prayers because oppression and mistreatment is on the rise. Below we share persecution testimonies from believers across South Asia. Join us as in prayer the next two weekends for these and other saints around the world.
“Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.”
Testimonies From the Field
“I (Sapana) am from a high caste family. I am the only one in my family who is converted to Christianity. One day, all of the sudden 40 people showed up to our church meeting – young people with sticks, chains, stones and whatnot. The group was a fanatic group. So they came and pulled my husband (Vijay) out of the church by his hair. They pulled him out into the road and were kicking and beating him with bricks and sticks. And they were abusing him with bad language. And saying, ‘You have come here to convert people to Christianity. You are praying for them.’ After beating up my husband, the group went to the police to complain that we were converting others to Christianity.”
Sapana’s brothers were members of this radical group. And the next time they saw her, they asked, “Are you doing this conversion business?” And she said, “We are not converting people we are just praying for them. But these 40 people who came told us we had to go with them right then to the Hindu temple and bow down to worship the Hindu gods.” And she said to them, “You can kill me but I will not go bow down before them.”
They put her husband in jail, and they said, “Tomorrow we will release him.” But then her family came and well-wishers came and they spoke to them and they said, “OK this time we will let you go, but we will keep an eye on you. We will not let you do what you are doing.”
Vijay and Sapana
Prayer: Lord, I pray that Vijay and Sapana would be able to continue your good work. I pray that they would not be deterred by the actions of this radical religious group, but that they would be encouraged that they are able to partake with your Son in His sufferings. Please set your Holy Spirit to work on the hearts of the persecutors that they might find redemption through your Son.
Santosh is an elderly Christian man with a big burden for God’s ministry. He works as a gospel preacher in his local church. In his free time he travels to nearby villages to preach and distribute gospel tracts. Three months ago, a group of radicals suddenly attacked and beat him. After assuming he was dead, they threw him in a paddy field. But by the grace of God some of our church believers heard about the situation, rescued him and took him to the hospital. Within a week he was discharged from the hospital without any problems. Praise the Lord! Because of Santosh’s testimony, other church members became more involved in Kingdom work.
Prayer: Praise your work, Lord! Thank you for keeping Santosh alive and well to keep sharing your Good News. I pray that Santosh would be motivated through this experience to share your grace and love with even more people than before. I also pray that Santosh would be spared from future attacks.
Hemanta was a strong orthodox Hindu man who led a radical religious group. He caused all sorts of problems for the local pastors and believers. After tragically losing both of his sons in an accident, Hemanta could not find peace or hope. Then one of the local believers invited him to church. There the congregation prayed for him and his family. Slowly God changed his mind. After a while, he left everything and believed in God. Now he is living peacefully with his family. Thank God!
Prayer: I praise you, Lord, for the peace and hope you offer to all who will call on your name! I pray that many more who are living without peace, as Hemanta did, would find eternal peace and hope in your Son’s sacrifice.
For 15 years Dukhu, a religious leader, persecuted the Christians in his village. He collected money from them for idols and threatened to kick them out of the village if they did not comply. But one day the believers gave him a copy of the New Testament and asked him to read it. As soon as he started reading it, the Lord Almighty told him that He could save him from the darkness he was living in. Dukhu immediately left everything and started attending the local church. There he accepted Jesus as his personal Savior.
Prayer: I praise you, Lord, for the power of your Word that is living and active and sharper than a double-edged sword! Thank you for saving Dukhu out of the darkness of this world. I pray that many more would be saved out of the darkness and would live in the wonder and beauty of your Kingdom.
Chitra is from a Hindu background and aspired to be the leader of a radical religious group. Over the years, he created many problems for believers including threatening to kick them out of their homes. All the while, the local believers fasted and prayed for him. Then little-by-little he became friends with one of them. After learning about the One True God, he came to church and asked for forgiveness from everybody and asked them to pray for him. Chitra was baptized, and soon afterward decided to go to Bible College to become a pastor himself.
Prayer: I praise you, Lord, for the power of your love at work through the Body of Christ! Please help us and believers around the world to emanate your love and forgiveness and to reach even those who persecute us.
Earlier this year Vijay and Suresh were attacked by a mob of radicals and jailed. The local believers earnestly prayed for them, and, by the grace of God, after two days they were released. Even after this experience, these two men continue to stand boldly for the Lord and encourage others to be steadfast in their faith.
Prayer: I praise you, Lord, for the boldness you impart to us because of your Son’s example. I pray that Vijay and Suresh would continue to stand boldly for you, Lord, and will preach your name everywhere they go.