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A Convert’s Journey to Church Planting in India

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“Make sure you remain a lover of the world, for ‘God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son,’” the pastor cautioned the newly ordained, bright-eyed American ministers about to embark on their own domestic ministry work. Her words brought to mind a church planter in India, Pastor Vinod, whose ministry work deeply embodies John 3:16.

Pastor Vinod comes from a strict Hindu family that was highly devoted to idol worship and other related practices. Though his parents were busy with six children, Vinod felt a deep love from his father. While Vinod was still in school, his father died, leaving him completely shattered. “I developed so much negativity towards life and had many questions. I went on knowing life with so many bad habits, realizing I had no peace and there was no one to love me.”

He grew up and life went on. But in 1977, Vinod encountered Christians and listened to their Bible studies. “The teachings of Jesus were very attractive; I was given a New Testament. Curiosity grew when I read John 3:16, and later was led in prayer by a Christian friend. I felt newness in my heart, and my pain slowly started departing.”

Living as a Christian in India has never been easy, but things have become extremely challenging in certain states over the past several years. Vinod lives in the state of Uttar Pradesh, where Christians are the most heavily persecuted. The Chief Minister is an extreme right-wing Hindu nationalist, and under his leadership he has popularized a brand of anti-Christian legislation known as anti-conversion laws. Any Christian practicing their faith openly risks being charged under this law, which is meant to keep Hindus from converting to Christianity.

Pastors doing outreach are particularly at risk, but this does not deter Pastor Vinod. “I face opposition from the radical Hindu nationalists; the frequency has now increased after the new anti-conversion law enacted in the state two years ago.” Vinod has been sharing the gospel since the year 2000, but it was this law which inspired him to do more focused outreach. ICC supplied him with a bike and Bibles so that he could reach more people. He has consequently established 10 fellowships in the last two years, even while being infected with COVID-19 on five different occasions. “I am thankful that God has protected me in the midst of so much fear of virus and sickness.”

Vinod’s pastoral ministry embodies a love for the world as described in John 3:16. His ministry work on the front line serves as a stark reminder that even when the world does everything to discourage loving Christ, Jesus still calls us to love the world.
Sources:persecution

http://theendtimeradio.com

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Hindu Nationalism Becomes a Growing Threat to Christians in Nepal

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Nepal — Unlike Christians in the neighboring state of India, believers in Nepal have, until recently, been more protected from state-sanctioned discrimination and violence. However, the tide is turning as the persecution that Indian Christians have known for some time slowly bleeds across the border.

Several reports have suggested that proximity to India is not the only reason for this shift. Some evidence suggests that funds have been sent directly from the pro-Hindu nationalists who control India into Nepal, resulting in increased violence toward religious minorities. Christians, Muslims, and Buddhists have seen their sacred buildings, holy ceremonies, and specific individuals targeted by the Hindu majority.

This growing trend toward a more persecuted and discriminatory Nepal could be seen last week as protesters marched on the parliament building in Kathmandu, airing their demands for their country to return to the monarchy and a Hindu state. The march eventually turned violent as protestors clashed with police, resulting in several serious injuries. Since the march, many in the inside and outside of Nepal have expressed concern over the growing Hindu nationalism.

An ICC partner in Kathmandu has expressed concern over this growing trend, sharing that evangelism work is becoming more dangerous across the country. Pray that Christians in Nepal will remain bold in their faith despite the growing threat of persecution and that they will remain safe.
Sources:persecution

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Four Catholic priests beaten, looted in Odisha

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Unidentified miscreants looted a Divine Word mission in Odisha, eastern India, after attacking four priests, teachers and workers living in the campus.

The April 10 incident took place at the mission at Bagdehi, more than 20 km northeast of Jharsuguda, the headquarters of the Divine Word congregation’s India East province. The police have launched a probe into the incident.

“Around 11 looters entered the campus of St. Arnold Primary School around 9.30 pm night,” Father Anuranjan Bilung, the provincial, told.

He said they first entered the teachers’ quarters where eight women teachers resided. The miscreants forcefully took their gold chains, earrings and mobile phones at gunpoint.

“The teachers were silenced and forced to shift to one room and the intruders locked the room from outside. They also destroyed their mobiles and asked them to remain silent or get killed,” the priest narratedAt gunpoint, they asked a woman worker to take them to the nearby priests’ residence. They threatened to kill the woman’s little daughter who was with her. The frightened woman showed them the priests’ place from outside. The miscreants first broke & open the grill of the presbytery where four priests lived. Father Christopher John, who was still awake, seeing the grill open, went out to check.

The intruders, who were hiding, assaulted him and destroyed his mobile phone. “The looters after entering their residence thrashed the priests with curtain rods and chairs, tied their hands and legs and locked them in a room,” the provincial said.

They also destroyed their mobiles and one laptop and searched the rooms and looted money amounting less than 100,000 rupees.The atackers left the mission around 1 am on April 11 carrying cash and valuables.

The assaulted priests managed to untie one of them, who called the police with a phone that had escaped miscreants’ attention. He also called a worker, who lived close to the mission. The worker opened the priests’ room and the priests then opened the room of the teachers and workers.

The priests went to a dispensary managed by the Handmaids of Mary nuns for first aid. The police, who came at 1:45 am, took the priests in an ambulance to the District Hospital in Jharsuguda.

On being informed, some priests from the Provincial’s House rushed to the hospital. They took the four confreres back to the mission after initial treatment. The provincial house later contacted the Jharsuguda District Police Head Office and the local police stations at Bagdehi and Laikera for action.

At around 6:30 am, another police team reached the mission and started to investigate. After gathering information from the workers, the teachers, and the priests, the police filed a First Information Report. Pray for the priests and the teachers “are still under trauma.
Sources:christiansworldnews

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ഐപിസി ഡൽഹി സ്റ്റേറ്റിന് പുതിയ ഭരണ സമിതി

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ഐപിസി ഡൽഹി സ്റ്റേറ്റ് 2024-2028 പ്രവർത്തന വർഷത്തേക്ക് പുതിയ ഭരണ സമിതിയെ തിരഞ്ഞെടുത്തു. 2024 ഏപ്രിൽ 13 ന് രാവിലെ 9 മണി മുതൽ ഡൽഹി രാജ് നിവാസ് മാർഗിലുള്ള നിഷേമാൻ സ്കൂൾ ഓഡിറ്റോറിയത്തിൽ കൂടിയ ജനറൽ ബോഡിയിലാണ് പുതിയ ഭരണ സമിതിയെ തിരഞ്ഞെടുത്തത്. സ്റ്റേറ്റ് പ്രസിഡന്റ് ഡോ. ഷാജി ഡാനിയേൽ മീറ്റിംഗിൽ അധ്യക്ഷത വഹിച്ചു. സ്റ്റേറ്റ് സെക്രട്ടറി പാസ്റ്റർ സാം ജോർജ് പിന്നിട്ട വർഷത്തെ റിപ്പോർട്ട്‌ അവതരിപ്പിച്ചു. സ്റ്റേറ്റ് ട്രഷറർ ജോൺസൺ മാത്യു കണക്കുകൾ അവതരിപ്പിച്ചു. വിവിധ ബോർഡുകളുടെ പ്രതിനിധികൾ കഴിഞ്ഞ വർഷത്തെ പ്രവർത്തന റിപ്പോർട്ടുകൾ അവതരിപ്പിച്ചു. തുടർന്ന് 2024-2028 പ്രവർത്തന വർഷത്തേക്ക് നടന്ന തിരഞ്ഞെടുപ്പിൽ ഡോ. ഷാജി ഡാനിയേൽ പ്രസിഡന്റ് ആയും, പാസ്റ്റർ കെ. വി. ജോസഫ് വൈസ് പ്രസിഡന്റായും തിരഞ്ഞെടുക്കപ്പെട്ടു. പാസ്റ്റർ സാം ജോർജ് സെക്രട്ടറിയായും, ഷിബു കെ ജോർജ് ജോയിന്റ് സെക്രട്ടറിയായും ജോൺസൺ മാത്യു ട്രെഷറർ ആയും തിരഞ്ഞെടുക്കപ്പെട്ടു. കൂടാതെ 31 അംഗങ്ങൾ അടങ്ങുന്ന കൌൺസിൽ അംഗങ്ങളെയും തിരഞ്ഞെടുത്തു
Sources:christiansworldnews

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