Youth With A Mission is calling on its 17,000 workers worldwide to join in three days of prayer and fasting for the church in India as it continues to face violent attacks from Hindu radicals.
YWAM said in a report that more than a dozen of its staff and students had been beaten and injured, lost their homes and suffered damage to personal and ministry property at the hands of radicals, who blame Christians for the death of their leader, despite authorities declaring Maoists to be responsible.
The wave of violence was triggered by the killing in late August of a radical Hindu leader in the sectarian violence-prone state of Orissa. At least 51 people have died in violence in the eastern state alone, while tens of thousands have been forced to flee their homes in a bid to escape the violent mobs that have burned hundreds of homes and churches to the ground. The violence has since spread to the west coast state of Karnataka.
Teams of YWAM workers are working to provide refugees with basic necessities and praying for God to intervene in the crisis.
YWAM India joined 90 Christian leaders in Mumbai last week in praying for an end to the violence. They drew comparisons between the situation facing Christians in India to the book of Esther in the Old Testament.
One of the YWAM India leaders who took part in the meeting was quoted in the report as saying, "Queen Esther appeals, through Mordecai, to the people of God to go on a three day fast. The rest is history. God intervenes. That's the objective of this call to pray and fast. Accordingly, we are urging all our friends to declare three days of prayer and fasting for India from Monday the 29th to Wednesday the 1st of October."
YWAM's International Chairman, Lynn Green, threw her support behind the prayer call.
"This coming Thursday is YWAM's monthly Global Day of Prayer and our focus is on strengthening yourself in the Lord," she said. "Our brothers and sisters in India are suffering in a way many of us have never faced and we must stand with them, strengthening them with our prayers as they pursue God's purposes in that nation."