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On 15 September, two Indian Christians, Leo Johnson and his wife Jenifa, were intimidated and threatened in the residential area of Bombay Castle, Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu state. The couple had spent the day in the area distributing Christian tracts to homes.

As they were making their way back home, they were stopped and questioned by a man believed to be affiliated with the far-right Hindu nationalist group, Hindu Munani. The man called two other friends and they started harassing the couple, accusing them of compelling people in the neighbourhood to convert.

According to Johnson, “We did not speak to people about Jesus. All my wife and I did was to distribute the tracts to homes. No one was forced to take the literature.”

The men then demanded the couple apply holy ash on their foreheads, which they had collected from a local Hindu temple.

Johnson was forced to put some on his wife’s forehead. He said, “Jenifa was terrified by the incident and started crying. I did not know what to do and to avert further harassment, I submitted to their demands. This should not have happened to us as India is supposed to be a free country where we can practise our faith. Even though it was a humiliating moment for us as it all happened in a public area and people were watching the events unfold, we will continue to share our faith.”

A complaint has been made to the local District Collector and the police have assured the couple that a First Information Report (FIR) will be registered.

Sources: Assist News Service, Christian Solidarity Worldwide

  • Thank the Lord for Leo and Jenifa’s faithfulness in sharing the Gospel in their community.
  • Ask God to help them to overcome the ordeal, to continue their good work and encourage other believers to do the same.
  • Pray that those who falsely accuse believers of forcible conversion, will see that the message of the Gospel is a free gift and respond to the offer of salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Post your prayer in the comments below.