In today’s persecuted church, children sometimes become victims of persecution. Find out the true story of one Nepali woman who continued to follow Christ, even when her family faced persecution because of her ministry.
Mrs Anish’s Story
The tragedy of having a son killed or a daughter assaulted because of your Christian witness is difficult to comprehend. As parents, it is far more difficult to see our children suffer than to face it ourselves.
Mrs Anish* knows this all too well. She lives in a typical Nepali village, a community of about 2000 people who farm the nearby fields and trade commodity items with one another. The predominantly Hindu population is very poor. Their government has been in turmoil for years as Maoist communists vie for power in the new democracy.
Mrs Anish has dedicated herself to evangelism, and God has blessed her work. In the past year, she has led 19 people to Christ in her village. Her husband works in the fields to support her efforts and provide for their three children.
“She is often called on to pray with other believers when they are sick or having other issues,” Mrs Anish’s pastor said. “She is very effective in her ministry that way.”
She faced increasing pressure from those opposed to Christianity. Mrs Anish was warned: “Stop talking about Jesus to others, or else.” She ignored the warning. With God’s obvious blessing on her ministry and eternity at stake for so many, how could she stop talking about Jesus?
On 24 November 2011, two men kidnapped Mrs Anish’s daughter. One of the men raped her, leaving her injured and deeply traumatised. When Mrs Anish found her daughter, she called her pastor and the village authorities. A Voice of the Martyrs field worker quickly travelled to the village to minister to the family. When confronted, the attacker was unapologetic.
“She was told not to talk about Jesus anymore, and she did,” he said. “If she had stopped her preaching, we wouldn’t have done anything.”
Other villagers offered to pay the family if they would promise not to pursue charges against the man. The family refused. “If we compromise, it will just happen again and again,” Mrs Anish said. The man who assaulted Mrs Anish’s daughter was sentenced to 14 years in prison.
How VOM has helped
VOM workers in Nepal helped move Mrs Anish’s daughter to a home that specialises in helping victims of sexual assault. She is in a loving Christian environment with other children who have suffered similar attacks, and her mother is able to visit her at the safe house and provide comfort and encouragement during the healing process.
VOM USA is helping to pay for her education for the next five years. Recent reports indicate that she has begun to smile again and is slowly beginning to interact with other children.
History is filled with stories of families, including children, who have suffered for their Christian witness. The stories continue today. Though Mrs Anish continues her evangelistic work, she struggles to come to terms with what happened and fears for the safety of her other two children.
You can support Voice of the Martyrs’ ministry to persecuted Christians by donating to Help for the Persecuted Church.
*Not her real name.