In the state of Odisha, India, water is becoming scarce. Water scarcity in India is usually attributed to natural causes, but for people living in Odisha, the lack of water is due to a human factor, and those affected the most are Christians.
Due to the success of Hindu radical groups in both local and state elections, the persecution of Christians has increased. With this kind of government endorsement, Hindu villagers are now more confident in their efforts to persecute their Christian neighbours.
One of their tactics is to make it extremely difficult for Christians to collect fresh water from the village’s community well. Christians are repeatedly pushed away and forced to find water elsewhere. Many will walk up to 10km a day, often finding a substandard supply of water. Out of desperation, they are prepared to risk using this water for their daily needs even though it is usually contaminated.
Working in partnership with our national contacts in this area, VOM Australia has funded the construction of 13 new wells in villages where persecuted believers live. With the Hindu radical’s ready to disrupt the work, organising and managing the digging of these wells often puts our national contacts in great danger.
When visiting villages where these wells are needed, they have often faced intense opposition. “I tried to go into some of these areas at least four times but I had to turn back. On two occasions I was strongly advised not to approach the village as there were people waiting to kidnap me,” said our National Coordinator.
Once a well has been dug, a dedication service is always held and because of God’s blessing for the Christians, they offer the use of the well to their Hindu neighbours. One VOM funded well is providing for over 5000 families and offers an opportunity to evangelise the community.
Voice of the Martyrs Australia continues to fund raise for more wells to be dug in Odisha and other restricted nations. You can help by giving to our VOM Well Project which we are campaigning for this month. All donations received, will be sent to Odisha, India.