“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” – Ephesians 6:18
Ephesians 6:18 is not only an instruction but a command from the Word of God to PRAY. It’s a Bible verse and a core value that Open Doors holds very dear and takes seriously. Keeping in mind this command to pray – this month we are focusing on Christians in India. In the last few years, we’ve seen persecution against them increase to the point that for the first time ever they made it into the top 10 countries on Open Doors World Watch List 2019 and once again in 2020. The body of believers in India has chosen to worship, serve and believe in Jesus despite knowing they will face discrimination and struggles. We realise that it’s our duty to pray for them. So join us as we pray for Christians in India, especially during this pandemic where they face more suffering and discrimination. Here are some of the prayer points to consider:
Believers and their families in India
According to reports from Open Doors local partners, 223 persecution incidents occurred from January to March 2020 affecting 5 404 Christians. The recorded incidents range from social isolation by communities and disrupted church meetings through to beatings and sexual abuse. There were 216 incidents recorded in the same period last year, showing that persecution against Christians continues to be high. These are just the first-hand incidents of persecution reported to Open Doors’ local partners on the ground. It represents the tip of the iceberg when it comes to persecution against Christians in India. Please pray for several Christian families who are continuously beaten up by community members for their Christian faith. Pray for spiritual healing and the healing of all those who are physically assaulted. Pray also that they’ll continue to stand strong amid all the challenges and persecution they face. May their persecutors come to know the conviction of the Holy Spirit, repent of their sin and turn to Christ.
Believers who are falsely accused
Please pray for our brothers and sisters who are facing false accusations under India’s anti-conversion laws. Eight of the country’s states have anti-conversion laws, and there is talk of introducing such laws nationwide. These laws have been used to bring a significant number of cases against religious minorities in recent years.
Pray that those who’ve been falsely imprisoned will soon be freed and that they’ll know God’s love and presence with them. Pray for comfort and encouragement for those who are fighting ongoing legal cases – it can take years for such cases to finally be closed. Those who are accused are under constant pressure and may have to report regularly to the police. Pray for protection for Christians against false accusations, especially for church leaders and evangelists. Pray for wisdom for Open Doors local partners as they seek to support and advocate for those facing false accusations. Pray that the international community will take this issue seriously and work with the Indian government to bring about positive change for religious minorities in India.
Pastors facing pressure because of their ministry work
Attacking churches and pastors is one of the most far-reaching ways that Christians face pressure and intimidation. The reports from Open Doors local partners recorded 25 churches being closed down completely during this period, leaving an estimated 750 believers with nowhere to meet. A further 61 churches had their services disrupted, affecting at least 1 800 believers. Pray with Christians in India for God’s provision and protection as they preach the Gospel in places where the anti-conversion laws are present. Pray that church leaders will stand strong and continue to disciple many believers and that many will come to Jesus despite the pressure they face.
Missionaries and evangelists reaching out to the lost
Continue to pray for Christian missionaries, evangelists and leaders who are constantly threatened and monitored by Hindu extremists. Please pray for their protection and that they will be able to continue their ministry without any hindrance.
Open Doors local partners
Despite the abuses and challenges faced by Christians in India, many are standing firm in their faith. The support and prayers of Open Doors supporters from around the world enable Open Doors local partners to provide persecuted Christians with practical and spiritual support, from emergency supplies, medical care and safe houses, to advocacy training and supporting believers to start small businesses. Pray that all the work done by our local partners will blossom and grow to be a light to many in India.
Thank you for your prayers and commitment to pray for the Church in India. May the Lord bless you!
You can continue to join hands with Open Doors and help the Church and believers in India to make sure that though they are persecuted, they are never alone, click here to partner with us.