Posted: August 27, 2021
Dear Anabaptist sisters and brothers:
This letter is a call for the church around the world to join in prayer for Christians and other minority groups who are harassed and threatened in India, especially in rural areas. With tacit support from government officials, anti-Christian and anti-Muslim groups seek to close churches and mosques.
“An atmosphere of deep trauma, fear and anxiety pervades the Christian communities we visited in rural areas, as well as many of the Christian and Muslim communities in medium-sized villages and on the outskirts of larger cities,” says a recent document entitled Destructive Lies.* This report documents cases of intimidation, assault and arson directed against minority religious communities.
A Mennonite pastor wrote on 16 August 2021:
“Last week, our church abruptly stopped its Sunday service due to threats from anti-religious groups.” He reports that vigilantes took video of the congregation and passed that on to the police who then pressured the congregation to shut down.
“Pray for us, as we don’t know what will happen next,” the pastor wrote. “It is a tough time for us to do ministry. But even in the midst of all tribulations we are serving our God with a lot of commitment.”
Beloved sisters and brothers in India, know that the global Mennonite church stands with you. We thank God that you conduct yourselves honourably among your neighbours, “so that, though they malign you as evildoers, they may see your honourable deeds and glorify God when he comes to judge.”
We are confident that “the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, support, strengthen, and establish you” (1 Peter 2:12, 5:10).
Loving God, soften the hearts of political leaders in India and all who seek to destroy minority religious communities. Pour out your Spirit on Mennonites and all Christians of India who know and follow Jesus, that they may be steadfast in the face of persecution. Let your work of healing the nations restore peace between religious groups in all of India.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.
In the name of Jesus, Prince of Peace,
J. Nelson Kraybill
President, Mennonite World Conference
*This report was commissioned by Open Doors and conducted by researchers at the London School of Economics and Political Science
Download the full report:
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