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INDIA: Christian Pastor Beaten and Left to Die

INDIA: Christian Pastor Beaten and Left to Die

A Christian pastor was beaten unconscious and left locked in a room to die by radical Hindu nationalists in India’s Bihar state.

On 5 October, Pastor Shelton Vishwanathan was attacked by six nationalists as he was distributing Gospel tracts in Tiryani village. The nationalists confronted Pastor Shelton and told him to stop handing out the tracts. After Pastor Shelton agreed to their demands, the nationalists attacked.

The men seized the keys to Pastor Shelton’s scooter, took away his phone, and physically assaulted him. The last thing Pastor Shelton recalled happening was the nationalists were threatening to offer him as a sacrifice to their god as they beat him.

“They punched my back and told me that they would offer me as a sacrifice to their deity as a punishment,” Pastor Shelton said. “They struck severe blows on my head, so that I soon fainted.”

When pastor Shelton regained consciousness, he was locked by himself in a dark room. He was without any food or water.

After several days, an elderly woman who lived nearby heard Pastor Shelton’s cries and released him from the room. The elderly woman told Pastor Shelton the door was bolted from the outside and she was scared the nationalists would come after her if they found out she released him.

“Had she not helped, I would not be alive today,” Pastor Shelton said. “I fully believe that it was God who sent her to help me.”

Sources: International Christian Concern, Morning Star News

  • Thank the Lord for the rescue of Pastor Shelton. Ask God to heal him of any physical harm resulting from the attack and the captivity.
  • Pray too that the Lord will help Pastor Shelton overcome the trauma of the event.
  • Pray the Lord will continue to grow His church in India and ask for strength and protection on behalf of those who are sharing the Gospel on the frontlines.

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MYANMAR: Lingering Effects of Imprisonment

MYANMAR: Lingering Effects of Imprisonment

A key denominational leader targeted by Communist separatists continues to suffer lasting effects from his imprisonment. In 2018, the Wa State Army arrested Christians and at least 120 pastors in north eastern Myanmar, including Aikhun Plot.

In prison, he spent most of his time with a metal leg chain digging into his ankle, causing long-term bone damage and pain, and he also contracted a skin disease. Upon his release and after treatment, his skin ailment cleared up, but he continues to experience excruciating pain in his leg as doctors have not been able to provide effective treatment.

The pastor was recently elected principal of a Bible college and is eager to take on his new responsibilities. “Pray for God’s wisdom and guidance for him and his family so he would be able to preside and lead the college effectively for the glory of God and his kingdom expansion,” wrote a VOM worker in Myanmar.

Source:  The Voice of the Martyrs USA

  • Pray for this precious brother Aikhun, for healing, strength, and comfort.
  • Pray for the Holy Spirit to him to give him wisdom, guidance, direction, hope, encouragement, peace and strength to continue his work at the Bible college and surrounds.
  • Pray that God’s kingdom will advance in Myanmar and many are saved through the dedication and prayers of these faithful men.

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ETHIOPIA: Christian Loses Hand in Beating

ETHIOPIA: Christian Loses Hand in Beating

When the young Ethiopian man came to faith his community turned against him, but he remains committed to following Christ. Kofi grew up as a Muslim, but when an evangelist introduced him to Christ, he was instantly drawn to the saving grace of God and became a Christian.

As Kofi grew in his faith, he began sharing it with others, which angered local mosque leaders. They brought him before the local Islamic court, where Kofi told them he could never give up his new faith. The leaders decided to set a trap for him, sending a mob out to the farmland of Kofi’s brother, claiming a property line dispute.

When Kofi appeared, the crowd shouted, “This is the enemy of Allah!” and began to beat him. His left hand was so badly injured that doctors had to amputate it. Pray for Kofi, who told Christians who visited him, “I am happy not only to give my hand for Jesus, but I am ready to give my life for faith in Jesus Christ.” Pray for continued recovery, provision and witness in the area.

Source: The Voice of the Martyrs USA

  • Pray for healing for Kofi, protect him from those who want to silence him, may he continually share his faith, place a hedge of protection around him and bless him Amen.
  • Pray that the men who damaged and destroyed Kofi’s hand would be brought to justice and Kofi will forgive them.
  • Pray the Lord will use this testimony mightily to bring many to Christ.

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NIGERIA: Middle Belt Christians Endure Perpetual Violence

NIGERIA: Middle Belt Christians Endure Perpetual Violence

Radical Fulani militants have killed multiple Christians in Nigeria’s Plateau and Kaduna states. Among the victims was a six-year-old Christian boy.

On 23 September, over 100 Fulani militants attacked Christian villagers in their fields in Jol village, severely injuring nine men with machetes. A few hours later, a mother and her son suffered fatal injuries by militant machetes in neighbouring Sopp village.

On 28 September, in the Miango district, Fulani militants attacked three children; the youngest was six-year-old Emmanuel David. Four days before, the militants also killed five men, including a church leader from the Church of Christ in National (COCIN).

COCIN reported a surge in planned attacks, coordinated by predominantly radical Fulani herdsmen. Christian leaders in Nigeria have said they believe herdsmen attacks on Christian communities in Nigeria’s Middle Belt are inspired by their desire to forcefully take over Christians’ lands and impose Islam as desertification has made it difficult for them to sustain their herds.

Sources: International Christian Concern, Morning Star News

  • Ask the Lord to intervene and bring an end to the violence, protect the believers and bring many Fulani to a saving knowledge of Him.
  • Ask the Lord to walk with the believers during this time of ongoing unrest, tragedy and mourning.
  • Pray the deaths of so many will not be in vain but the Lord would bring spiritual blessing to this nation.

Post your prayer in the comments below.

INDIA: Pastor Severely Beaten by Mob of Extremists

INDIA: Pastor Severely Beaten by Mob of Extremists

On 21 August, Pastor Kumar*, was attacked and brutally beaten by radical Hindu nationalists in Uttar Pradesh, India. The radicals reportedly accused Pastor Kumar of forcefully converting Hindus to Christianity and used this accusation as a justification for their assault.

According to Pastor Kumar, the radicals attacked while he was returning home from a prayer meeting in Bikampur village, located in the Bareilly district of Uttar Pradesh. A mob of 10 fanatics, led by a man named Aklesh Gangyar, surrounded Pastor Kumar and pulled him from his motorbike. Once on the ground, the radicals began to beat Pastor Kumar with wooden clubs.

The attack on Pastor Kumar became so savage that he soon began to think the radicals would murder him.

“God gave me the grace to accept even death,” Pastor Kumar said. “Scriptures were running through my mind as I was being attacked. However, when I thought about my four-year-old daughter and my wife, I was shattered, and it was excruciating.”

The attack lasted nearly two hours. When the radicals finished beating Pastor Kumar, they told him that they would kill him if they saw him in Bikampur village again. As the radicals left, they stole Pastor Kumar’s motorbike and his mobile phone.

Members of Pastor Kumar’s congregation in Bikampur village soon discovered the injured pastor and helped him go to the local police station to report the attack. However, local police refused to file Pastor Kumar’s complaint and accused him of attempting to register a false report. Pastor Kumar’s complaint wasn’t accepted until three days later, after a church leader from outside Bareilly district called the police station and advocated on Pastor Kumar’s behalf.

Pastor Kumar has been serving as a church planter in the Bareilly district for nearly four and a half years. Bikampur village is one of the communities where Pastor Kumar has planted a small church.

To date, the police have not taken any action against the radicals Pastor Kumar named in his complaint. The police have also not recovered Pastor Kumar’s mobile phone or his motorbike.

Unfortunately, the impunity enjoyed by Pastor Kumar’s attackers is not uncommon. Across India, radical Hindu nationalists go unpunished for their crimes against religious minorities. This impunity only emboldens the radicals, whose attacks have become more severe and frequent.

*Name has been changed for security reasons.

Source: International Christian Concern

  • Pray for complete healing for Pastor Kumar. Ask the Lord to give him wisdom and strength to continue in his ministry.
  • Pray He will help Pastor Kumar, his family and his fellow believers overcome any fear (2 Timothy 1:7).
  • Ask the Lord to embolden His church in India to withstand the increasing opposition.

Post your prayer in the comments below.