Hyderabad, India – When Jesus told his disciples that the gates of Hell would not prevail against the church, He didn’t say that the church would never come under attack. The concept of prevailing implies attack. Christianity has been under attack for 2,000 years. There is no indication, from the Bible or from current events, that attacks on followers of Christ will cease until He comes to rule and reign in glory and splendor.
No Christian or Christian ministry, including Gospel for Asia (GFA), is immune from attack. Some suffer physical onslaught. Others suffer defamation and slander. Now, a scheme has arisen in India to entrap unsuspecting believers.
The Bible warns us that our Enemy likes to appear as a messenger of light. That is the tactic he used to entrap Eve in the Garden of Eden. The ruse in India follows the same methodology.
At the turn of the century there were 28 million Christians living in India. Although a seemingly large number, it is only slightly more than two percent of the country’s population. It is not a crime to be a Christian in India, but there is a strong resistance to attempts to convert Hindu people to Christianity.
Earlier this year, Ajay Kumar, the pastor of an Assemblies of God church in Hyderabad and a student from Bethany Bible College in Kerala received a call from a person who wanted to learn about Christ. That was the bait.
The trap was exposed when the caller and his friend requested the help resolving a situation involving a Christian girl and a Hindu boy who were in love. They asked how much it would cost to convert so the boy could marry the Christian girl.
The pastor followed the scriptural mandate to be wise as a serpent but harmless as a dove. He said that they were willing to share the gospel but that they do not actually convert anyone.
The perpetrators persisted despite the pastor’s explanation. Eventually the innocent victims were abused and dragged into the middle of the road where their assailants accused them of doing conversions in front of a crowd that included members of the media.
The pastor and student were jailed where they were subject to persecution from the other inmates in their ward. Instead of pleading their innocence, they followed the example of Paul and Silas and spent their time in worship and prayers.
Ten days into their experience, it became evident that God was moving in the hearts of the other prisoners as they began to realize the two were innocent of the charges against them. Eventually, according to pastor Kumar, “God moved their hearts. When we bowed down to pray, the inmates would break down, wailing and crying.” More than 30 of the 42 inmates in their ward came to Christ.
The Apostle Paul spoke of the Christian ministry, saying “We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed … persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed.” He went on to say that “our light affliction … worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.”
Cases of persecution seem to be increasing. Pastor Kumar and the student are still in the legal process with a hearing scheduled in February.
Credits: Morning Star News