Missionary News: Pray for Persecuted Christians in India
Last night, we were sent the following message through WhatsApp from a priest in India, who believes the persecution of Christians is increasing in India:
"Dear Fathers, Sisters and Brothers,
It pains me to inform you that the law and order situation in Narayanpur (Diocese of Jagdalpur) has become very bad as Christians are being targeted and attacked.
This afternoon (2nd January 2023) a crowd of over 1000 people came to the Narayanpur Catholic Church and have destroyed the Church and presbytery.
They are going to attack our other institutions, Bishop Joseph Kollamparambil informed me.
We are trying to contact the CM about it. Please pray for the safety, protection and peace. + Victor Henry Thakur, Archbishop of Raipur"
He has been Archbishop of Raipur since 2013.
According to Countercurrents.org, the violence in this area of India has been steadily increasing. (see "Anti Christian Violence in Narayanpur and Kondagaon in Bastar") You will see in the following videos the angry mobs attacking Christians and Christian Churches.
When we were in India as missionaries, we could feel, and experienced the hostility of the people towards Christians. There is a strong nationalism, which believes that Christianity is the religion of the West; in order for India to remain pure, it must remain Hindu. More, and more, Hindus are taking matters into their own hands to expel Christians from their midst- many of whom are not allowed to live in major cities to begin with, such as the Catholic dalit we worked with in Andhra Pradesh.
We were nearly not allowed into India to begin with- two white Christian missionaries...at the airport in Hyderabad, suddenly we were forced to wait for nearly 40 minutes, as guards milled around us. It was uncomfortable. It must have been the Holy Spirit when Lee Anne said to me, "give him that picture of Mother Teresa..." There is an amazing story behind this picture...one of Mother Teresa exposing the Blessed Sacrament not long before she died. A blind man had picked Lee Anne out of a crowd at a conference, and said, "I walked with Mother Teresa." Lee Anne said, "oh, that's nice..." He said, "No, I walked with Mother Teresa," and had the aide that was with him show her a picture of him walking with Mother Teresa, among several dignitaries. He said, "Mother Teresa wants you to have this," and gave her the amazing and unique picture of Mother Teresa exposing the Blessed Sacrament.
When I showed the guard this picture, he said, "Oh, Mother Teresa...." and went on and on about how wonderful she was, a holy person and a national treasure for India, etc. He showed several of the other guards. He said, "you are like Mother Teresa, doing work like her?" We said, "yes," as she is one our patron saints, after all. Fr. Fernando was close to her, and both of us have had a devotion to her for years. Lee Anne's ministry is similar to hers, as they both work with the most hopeless of cases: Mother with the untouchables off the street, Lee Anne with the spiritual "untouchables," those who have no place to go to heal, etc.
He immediately stamped our passport and said, "welcome to India." And shuffled us through the gate, where we would get our next flight into Andhra Pradesh.
There is still much hostility, but God makes a way, where there is no way. Let us pray for the persecuted Christians in India. Open Doors USA has ranked India as the number 10 most dangerous country for Christians. (2022 World Watch List)
We were originally asked to come to India by Fr. Fernando, who was already our spiritual director, and dear friend for years, when he heard our song, "Signs and Wonders and Miracles." May God send His signs and wonders and miracles for His people in India now, more than ever in Jesus' Name! May their persecutors see the power of the God of Israel, as Pharaoh and his armies saw the signs and wonders!
We were put up in a safe house, because for white Christian missionaries working among the Catholic dalit, it was unsafe for us to live in the village itself.
All in all, let us pray for the people of Narayanpur, and Kondagaon in Bastar, Chhattisgarh, India, many of whom are displaced now, with no home and little help from the government. Where will they live, if their neighbors have thrown them out of the village and burned down or destroyed their homes? What about the churches?
"The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." (James 5:16) Father, in the Name of Jesus, we call forth the angels of God to bring an end to this violence and displacement against Christians in India. Let our prayers be answered speedily for our brothers and sisters in Jesus' Name. Inspire Your Church to rise up in intercession. Amen.
In Christ Jesus,
Daniel and Lee Anne Devine The Lambseekers Ministries Inc.