Indian pastor and church members viciously attacked by Hindu extremists now recovering, but need your help

Imagine this. You are a tender five years old, and out of the blue, your daddy disappears. You don’t know why or how, but suddenly he’s gone and all you now know and experience is your terrified mom.

She tries to explain to you he has been killed. You’re not too sure what that means, but from the way she’s acting, it must be horrible.

A day or so later, your mom grabs you and flees the only home you’ve known. Sometimes she carries you, sometimes you have to run alongside her, but all you know is something really scary is happening and you better keep running.

She seems to hear ‘bad guys’ behind you somewhere … she looks like it at least … and just tries to run faster.  She makes more turns and twists along the way, and your little legs are about ready to give out.

Finally, you get to the river—you’ve glimpsed it a few times before—and she stops by a house somebody is building there. It’s only partly ‘there’, and nobody is around, so she takes you inside.

Then she leaves. You watch her from an opening in the wall … probably where they will put glass for a window someday … and see her jump from the high bank into the river! Why didn’t she tell you she was going for a swim?

And that’s the last time you see her.

Such was how life began for young Kumar of northern India. He remembers little about life with his parents, except that they did often visit a Hindu temple and worship the many idols there.

The small boy wasn’t alone in the unfinished building long. A well-off fellow—perhaps the man having the place built—found him sobbing there shortly after his mother vanished, and took the youngster home with him.

Unfortunately, the rich man’s motives were hardly compassionate. He set his ‘new acquisition’ to work almost immediately, treating him as a household slave.

After several years of unimaginable hardship, little Kumar, now 8, fled the second home he’d ever known, again in fear.

Not too long afterwards (we’re not sure exactly how long) kindly Pastor Mohan of Bibles for Mideast found the youngster begging for food in the streets. He approached the dishevelled child and gently inquired about his past. The more he discovered, the more his heart went out to the unfortunate boy. He invited Kumar home with him, and since the little fellow seemed to understand this man was safe and good, he went along.

Soon, he became an integral part of the family; a young brother to Pastor Mohan’s other children. He went to school, studied well, and grew to have a strong faith in Jesus.

On graduating high school, he went off to Bible College and at 25, was ordained a pastor of the ALG (Assembly of Loving God, umbrella for Bibles for Mideast churches). He married a few years later.

Now with three young children of his own, Kumar’s main ministry has been among Hindus in northern India. Due to the increasing, and increasingly violent persecution of Christians by Hindu nationalists in India, his young church must of course meet secretly.

He had been warned many times to stop his work but continued tirelessly and with even increasing success. His church had grown to 40 faithful believers when last Sunday, just as their worship service drew to a close, angry militants stormed the believer’s home they met in.

The aftermath of an attack on a house church and its congregation in Kolahpur, Maharashtra

The aftermath of an attack on a house church and its congregation in Kolahpur, Maharashtra

They pummelled Pastor Kumar with iron pipes until he lay bloodied and unconscious.  They set on other church members as well, seriously injuring several.

Pastor Kumar and three other church members were finally was taken to hospital, all in critical condition. For 48 hours, the pastor remained in acute care and doctors had scant hope for his survival.

On hearing of the attack, Pastor Paul and Pastor Peter Haneef, along with several other Bibles for Mideast leaders, left immediately for the long train trip to northern India and held three days of prayer and fasting in the home of a church member. By the second day, Pastor Kumar opened his eyes and by the third, he could speak again. Doctors were able to pronounce him out of serious danger by then.

Pastor Paul made it back to his home by late this past Thursday, but Pastor Haneef will stay longer with the young church. Pastor Kumar and the three who were most severely injured with him remain in hospital.

Please pray for their complete healing, as well as for the pastor’s wife, children and other church members. Most live in grass-thatched huts with barely enough to survive, never mind having to face almost daily persecution.

Please also pray for the resources they will need to pay the hospital bills. If you feel led to help this valiant young pastor and his church do the work God has called them to do, please click here.
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A Christian advocacy group in India, the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), India, have documented over 200 incidents of anti-Christian violence in just the first eight months of 2019. This averages to 27 incidents of violence per month. Many, many more of course go unreported.

Indian Christians hold placards protesting against attacks on churches in the Indian capital of New Delhi (AP photo)

Indian Christians hold placards protesting against attacks on churches in the Indian capital of New Delhi (AP photo)

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UPDATE:
God continues to move in India

Three new churches in North India!

About a year ago, a Bibles for Mideast pastor took a team of workers to visit a Hindu village chief and his wife in North India. Married as young teenagers, the couple had been trying to conceive for 30 years. They prayed according to Hindu beliefs, had visited Hindu temples from north to south and offered countless burnt offerings to idols … but still, no child.

The pastor shared the saving message of Jesus with them, and then offered to pray. While the chief refused, his desperate wife agreed and managed to convince her husband to receive prayer well.

North Indian Hindu woman

North Indian Hindu woman

When they’d finished, the pastor prophesied the couple would have a baby boy by the same time next year. He handed them a sample gospel and asked them to read it and pray to Jesus every day. 

The stubborn chief refused, but his wife knew this to be their last resort. She dutifully read and prayed every day, and within two months, discovered she was pregnant! It was an easy transition to believe in the reality and Truth of Jesus, and her husband became convinced as well.

After the birth of their son, the village chief contacted the pastor and requested he visit again and pray for them. The minister agreed, then boldly pressed for more. He told the chief he would come, but that he also wanted him to arrange a three-day retreat and request all villagers to attend. The chief agreed, and made the necessary arrangements.

Village evangelism

Village evangelism

So the team visited the village about two weeks ago for the retreat, holding gospel meetings as well. About 150 locals showed up, including family members of the village chief from other nearby communities and another village chief.

The meetings took on a festival atmosphere and Holy Spirit showed up gloriously. Each and every person accepted Jesus as Lord and Saviour!  On the fourth day, all the new believers underwent baptism and … lo and behold: a new ALG church was born!

The leader from the neighboring community then asked the team to come visit his village as well.  So off the missionaries went. They held two days of gospel meetings and saw over 70 people accept Jesus as Lord. They too were baptized and yet another ALG church came into being.

Prayer in the street

Prayer in the street

By this time, some of the local Hindu population converged on the new believers, waving their saffron flags and chanting Hindu and anti-Christian slogans. But they proved no match for the new Christians, who joined forces and chased them away without incident.  

At the request of a former Muslim family in a region further afield, the team then journeyed to meet up with four Muslim families. They held several days of prayer and fasting with even many other local Muslims joining in. By fast’s end, seven families put their faith in Jesus, along with 13 other followers of Islam. All were soon baptized and a third new ALG church added to the Kingdom!

BAPTISMAL ceremony

BAPTISMAL ceremony

These new churches and believers urgently need prayer for our Lord's mighty protection. Anti-Christian movements flourish in the ‘new India’, and persecution is rife. Please also pray the Lord to open other villages in North India for evangelism and new churches.

Once again, thank you for your support of our ministry. We could not and cannot do it without the help of God’s people.

Bible distribution plans: Please pray

Pastor Peter Haneef, president of the ALG Church (umbrella for the many Bibles for Mideast churches) has a special prayer request for visitors to this website and supporters of the work and ministries of Bibles for Mideast.

“Kindly pray as our church wants to distribute 30,000 bibles in Arabic, Urdu and other Asian and African languages before the end of this year,” he asks.

“All our believers will also be presenting bibles as New Year’s gifts to at least two of their non-Christian friends,” he adds. “Please pray that the Holy Spirit helps them to win souls for Jesus our Savior.”

He and all of us know we cannot do this—any of it—without the help of praying, generous Christians. If the Holy Spirit leads you to participate with this Bible Distribution Ministry, please click here.

Pastor Peter himself knows better than most the mighty power of prayer, having himself had a dramatic conversion from Islamic extremism (From radical Islamic murderer to ardent leader in the Kingdom of Jesus). Now leading the ALG, he found himself on the receiving end in June of this year of the very atrocities he once meted out (Brutal attack on ALG Church leader Pastor Peter Haneef and family in Bangladesh). While that ended gloriously with, ultimately, the salvation of his main attacker (Boy’s dramatic dream of wounded lamb leads to salvation of his Islamic terrorist father), Pastor Peter is in fact still not quite completely recovered, so please pray for him as well.

TOP :    (L)   aT A recent bible distribution event;      (R)   a cancer patient receives a bible   Bottom  (L to R):    Muslim woman receives bible;   Hindu woman learning bible;   presenting a passenger boat driver with his own bible

TOP: (L) aT A recent bible distribution event; (R) a cancer patient receives a bible
Bottom (L to R):
Muslim woman receives bible; Hindu woman learning bible; presenting a passenger boat driver with his own bible

Hindu sorcerer turns to Christ and now lives for Him

Venkatesan, born into a Hindu Dalit (depressed or ‘untouchable’ class) family in India grew up worshiping idols and learning black magic from his sorcerer father. His mother, however, regularly attended Christian prayer meetings. She constantly prayed for her family, and attempted to teach them about the divine help and salvation possible in Jesus alone. But they would have nothing to do with her beliefs.

Venkatesan, disagreeable even as a young person, grew even more depraved as the years passed. He constantly squabbled with others, and hatred toward him increased.

One day when he was 32 and out on his bicycle, he attempted to cross a motorway. An oncoming truck rammed into him, dragging him a fair distance and continuing on without stopping. He lay near death by the side of the road for close to an hour, blood flowing continuously from his wounds.  No one would stop or help; all presumed him dead. When the police finally arrived and found faint signs of life, they had him transported to the hospital. He remained there in a coma for several days.

His mother stood by him with her prayers. Her church family, a Bibles for Mideast church, prayed and fasted for Venkatesan as well.

While all this was going on, Venkatesan had a vision of Christ coming down from heaven with thousands of angels and then felt him touch him with his nail-pierced hands.

"I love you my child,” he heard Jesus say. “You are always my child; I will never leave you alone and my love will never end. Be healed!"

Venkatesan receives Bibles for further distribution

Venkatesan receives Bibles for further distribution

Venkatesan opened his eyes. He saw his mother and the members of the prayer team kneeling beside his bed and praying, their eyes full of tears. He called out to his mother. In joyful surprise she praised the Lord! 

Medical staff, hearing the commotion, rushed in to his bedside and he lost no time in telling them exactly what he had just experienced. His doctors declared it a miracle, and he declared he would now live for Jesus Christ!

His and his mother’s prayers, and the witness of their lives for Christ, encouraged Venkatesan’s father to turn to Jesus before he died several years later. Now married and with a son, he remains faithful in service to the Lord through the ministries of Bibles for Mideast.

Please keep him, his family and the many others serving Jesus in restricted areas of the world in your prayers. We could not keep functioning without you!

Jesus visits Hindu in coma; brings hope, healing and salvation

Born into a Hindu family in India, Krishnan endured years of hardship as a manual laborer near the bottom rung of Indian society. At 25, he fell from a gigantic tree and was rushed to hospital. There he spent weeks in a coma, hovering between life and death.

As he lay unconscious, doctors coming and going, the Divine Physician himself paid the gravely-injured Hindu man a surprise visit! Identifying himself by showing his nail-pierced hands, Jesus then passed those distinctive hands over Krishnan's damaged body.

Now wide-awake, he practically leapt from his hospital bed, his strength and mobility fully restored. He could no longer see Jesus with his physical eyes, but could still sense His holy Presence. Falling to his knees, he bowed in that powerful Presence, repented of his sins, and told Jesus he would follow Him as his personal Lord and Savior the rest of his days.

Shortly afterward, Krishnan was baptized and received the new name ‘George’. He met and married a young woman from a Christian family, and they went on to have six daughters, a son, and 17 grandchildren. But life here on earth proved anything but rosy for George.

At 86, George receives a new bible to replace his well-worn old one—both which he could read without glasses!

At 86, George receives a new bible to replace his well-worn old one—both which he could read without glasses!

One of his daughters died of cancer. His son Raju became a rickshaw driver, married and had two daughters of his own. One of the daughters married and gave birth to George’s first great-grandchild. When the boy was less than two months old, the child’s mother (George’s granddaughter) fell into a fast-moving river and was swept away to her death. George witnessed the whole tragedy.

Yet he remembered his promise to Jesus and held fast to his faith, continuing to sense the Lord’s comforting Presence wherever he was. In a dream one night, Jesus reassured him with the words: "Be faithful unto death and I will give you the crown of life." 

A faithful worker and evangelist with Bibles for Mideast, George kept it up well into his eighties—attending prayer meetings, sharing his testimony in house churches and underground churches, visiting homes and distributing gospel tracts.

He also found strength by meditating on scriptures. “Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will be joyful in God my Savior” (Habakkuk 3: 17-18).

His friends and fellow workers with Bibles for Mideast bade Georgettan (as they liked to call him, ‘ettan’ meaning older brother) a fond and dramatic farewell recently. Sick in bed after a long, healthy life, a large group of friends, family and pastors surrounded and were praying for him.

As they finished praying, George pronounced a loud “Amen!” He then tried to describe what he was seeing. The Lord Jesus Christ, coming in glory with a beautiful crown, was beckoning with his nail-pierced hands. Scores of saints and angels accompanied him, he said.

“I am receiving His call for glory,” he said with finality. “Amen! Amen.” His face shining like the evening sun, he then joined his Lord in glory.