Missionaries under threat in Orissa as persecution escalates

Orissa, India., Nov. 29 - The lives of native missionary pastor John Nayak and six other Gospel workers are on the line as anti-Christian groups pursue them in an area of Orissa, India, long known for the persecution of Christians.

God is using Pastor John to touch lives in the community. When he prayed for a woman possessed with an evil spirit, God delivered her. And Kumari, a cancer patient, thought her life would end soon. Yet as Pastor John earnestly prayed, God healed her. Pastor John and the other missionaries use such opportunities to share the Gospel. To the glory of God, a Gospel For Asia Believers Church of 45 new Christians meets in the village.

The miracles God worked did not escape the notice of anti-Christians. Last week, several of them threatened Believers Church members and spoke rudely to John's wife. Four days later, people attacked John and the missionaries with him. By God's grace, the missionaries broke free and ran home. The incident drove John to his knees in prayer.

That same day, about 200 people from various anti-Christian groups initiated a procession to protest Christian conversions. The mob then proceeded to John's house. John and his family, along with the other missionaries, had been informed of the danger and were already leaving the area. But their pursuers spotted them in the distance and ran after them. Through God's faithfulness John and the others reached a Christian shelter after two days in the jungle without food.

Back in the community, the anti-Christians burned 5,000 New Testaments and ransacked a neighboring Believers Church, breaking the windows and harassing the Christians. Pray for the Lord's protection and comfort for these new believers. Also lift up John, his family, and the other missionaries to the Lord. Praise God for protecting and strengthening them thus far.