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As the number of people placing their faith in Christ grows in India, so does persecution at the hands of family members and fellow villagers. Christians often face a life of poverty as members of India’s lower castes, and some exist outside the caste system entirely. The steady increase in both believers and persecution underscores a resulting urgent need for more Bibles.

At one recent distribution, about 75% of those receiving Bibles were new believers. “Most of the pastors … expressed that their churches are growing both in number as well as in spiritual maturity,” a Christian worker said. “Members are now sensing their responsibility of reading, listening and sharing with their friends and neighbours.” And as these new believers study God’s Word, they become better prepared to face persecution in the days ahead.

Kashi, a former Hindu woman who came to know Christ, had longed for a Bible but never been able to obtain one. Her prayer was answered when she received her own copy of God’s Word at a Bible distribution. “It is hard for me to go to church because of my family situation, as they do not allow me to go,” she shared with a frontline worker. “But I can study about God now from the Bible.”

Another new Christian, named Gangamma, said, “I have endured a lot of persecution at the hands of my parents and husband. But they are nothing compared to knowing that the Lord Jesus cleansed me of all my sins. Today is another great day for me, as my long-lasting desire for a Bible has been fulfilled.”

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