Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Fear hangs over Christians in India

India (MNN)-About 2,100 Christian families driven from their homes in India's Orissa state are finally receiving badly-needed relief supplies.Tens of thousands of Christians were forced from their homes after riots in August following the murder of a Hindu swami and four of his followers. Hindu extremists blamed Christians and mounted mob attacks on churches, as well as homes and villages populated by Christians.Though arrests have been made in the murders, thousands of believers are too frightened to return home. Many evangelical mission agencies are calling the pogrom an effort to exterminate Christians completely.As a result, thousands have fled to camps operated by the government, police officials and private groups.However, because of extremist threats, Tom Dudenhofer with Audio Scripture Ministries says not everyone is getting what they need to survive the deteriorating conditions. "It's cold there now, and the families are suffering. The kids, especially, need blankets and clothing. However, attempts to take supplies to these people have been rejected by the state authorities who say that they don't want to give this material to the Christians because they'll only use it to force conversions on other people."Though some try to return home, extremists are forcing them to make a choice: reconvert to Hinduism, die, or leave.Dudenhofer is encouraged that it appears many believers are refusing to recant.The anti-Christian brutality spread from Orissa into Karnataka state.However,ASM has seen a unique evangelistic opportunity.Dudenhofer says their partners in Bangalore say, "There's nothing else that these people have to turn to. There is no hope; there is no promise of any material blessings or anything coming out of this situation. Our directors in Bangalore tell us that all of a sudden, a huge increase in requests for Scriptures in audio has been coming out of this area."
Keep praying for those who are in ministry in these dangerous areas.
Pray that their faith will not waver.
And pray that God will sustain and provides for their needs....
As in the days of Noah...

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