Home » Posts tagged 'faith in persecution'
Tag Archives: faith in persecution
(Morning Star News) – Violence against Christians in India hit a new level on Tuesday (March 3) when Hindu extremists ran their motorcycles over a key evangelical leader after beating him, sources said.
Armed with bamboo rods and a thick metal chain with a heavy lock on it, the 10 Hindu nationalists in Sehore, Madhya Pradesh state beat Isaac Paulose, 48, and then ran their five motorcycles over him, fracturing one of his ribs, said Uttar Kumar Deep, pastor of Grace Fellowship Church of CEA (Christian Evangelistic Assemblies), Sehore.
Paulose, an elder at the church and Madhya Pradesh coordinator of the New India Evangelistic Association, was attacked shortly after dropping his 5-year-old son off at school that morning, Pastor Deep said.
Paulose was in his car when a Hindu nationalist on a motorcycle stopped him and told him to get out, he said.
“Unaware of his intentions and without a slightest of suspision, Isaac stepped out,” Pastor Deep said. “Suddenly others joined the biker, and all of them began to beat Isaac with bamboo logs and a chain.”
Paulose’s wife, Elizabeth Isaac, said he was stopped no more than 300 meters from their home.
“The moment he stepped out of his car, the others joined in, and they began to beat him,” Isaac said. “Accusing him of ‘converting people,’ they beat him with bamboo logs and a thick metal chain with a lock attached to its end. They scorned and ridiculed him, daring him to continue to convert people.”
Hindu extremists routinely attack Christians for “conversion,” though conversion is legal in India, and also routinely raise false accusations against them of illegal “forcible conversion.” They frequently make no distinction between the two.
The assailants threatened to kill the pastor before leaving, Pastor Deep said.
“When he lay on the ground half-dead, they drove their bikes, five in number, one after another over him, injuring him further and breaking his rib,” Pastor Deep told Morning Star News. “They scorned and taunted him, asking him to call on the name of Jesus. They also threatened to kill him if he continues to ‘convert’ people.”
Paulose also sustained injuries in his head and legs and hand, dislocating three fingers, sources said.
The assailants fled only after passers-by noticed and came to Paulose’s aid, Pastor Deep said. He said Paulose did not recognize any of those who assaulted him.
Paulose was rushed to a local government hospital, and then later that same day transferred to Bhopal Fracture Hospital, 26 miles from Sehore, in order to receive appropriate treatment, sources said.
On Friday (March 6) he underwent two surgeries on his left hand, which sustained multiple fractures, his wife said.
“He has received two stitches at the back of his head, and one stitch on his forehead,” Isaac said. “One of his ribs is fractured, for which the doctors said that nothing can be done and that he will need to take a lot of rest for the rib to heal by itself.”
Hemant Lal, a Christian leader from Bhopal, said Paulose was honored to suffer in Christ’s name.
“Brother Isaac’s condition was very bad when he was brought to Bhopal,” Lal told Morning Star News. “I was amazed at his faith. He told me he was not scared, and that there will be difficulties in doing the Lord’s work, but that he was glad that he suffered for the name of Jesus.”
Peace and Strength
Sehore police registered a First Information Report (FIR) on Tuesday (March 3) against unidentified assailants under the Indian Penal Code for criminal intimidation, damage, wrongful restraint and voluntarily causing hurt.
On Thursday (March 5) they added a section pertaining to attempted murder, Pastor Deep said.
Pastor Deep said Paulose does not engage in forced conversion.
“Such incidents should not happen with us; we are peace-loving people,” Pastor Deep said. “We do not get violent, and accusing someone of [forced] conversion without any reason and proof is not a good thing.”
Thanking all who have prayed and continue to pray for them, Paulose’s wife said she was initially shaken but is now at peace.
“Initially, I was very troubled and in a state of shock after seeing Isaac in this condition, but later the Lord gave me peace and strength,” she told Morning Star News. “It is our privilege to suffer for the Lord, and we will continue to work for the Lord. I am sure that God will reward us.”
India is ranked 10th on Open Doors’ 2020 World Watch List of the countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian. The country was 31st in 2013, but its position has worsened since Narendra Modi of the Bharatiya Janata Party came to power in 2014.
VOP Note: Please pray for this brother, his family and Christians in India.
(Voice of the Persecuted) Nigeria: BOKO HARAM: They may destroy our structures but not our faith. Our Faith is active and alive…..in persecution we are purified.
This was the statement on the lips of the bishop, Most Rev.Oliver Dashe and the internally displaced persons who had just returned to their communities.
The Chief shepherd of the diocese took what he calls a consolation tour to some of the communities that have been recaptured by our prayers and the gallant effort of the joint task force of Niger, Chad and Cameroon, with the Nigerian military.
The director social communications who was on the entourage of the bishop reported that the visited communities were; Kala’a, BAHULI, Mishara, Betso, Muchalla, and Mubi; all in Mubi North / South LGA of Adamawa state and Uba LGA in Borno state.
The bishop and priests encouraged the returnees in the Mass of Reconciliation and Reparation to remain steadfast despite the calamities that have befallen them. They must learn to forgive as Christ himself present in the Most Holy Sacrament had already forgiven the radical elements for their sacrileges, profanation and hate. The priests and bishop were in the confessional for over three hours in some communities visited.
In his homily, Monsg. Dashe, encouraged the people just returning home after months of seeking refuge in other parts of Nigeria to remain steadfast in their faith. He charged them not to allow themselves to be misled with the idea of VENGEANCE. It is obvious that at times like this when a lot of damages had been done and from a visual estimate there is apparently no standing church in Mubi and the surrounding communities, people would seek vengeance. The bishop encouraged; vengeance is for the Lord… anyone who resorts to violent revenge is practically in the same bowl with the devil. Seeking out vengeance would only lead to a chain reaction or a vicious cycle of war. He encouraged the people to remember the core values of our Christian faith, to love even our enemies and those who persecute us. For in love we are saved…. He thanked them for the high sense of commitment in the faith. He told them he was never afraid, some day we shall be victorious.
In their difficulty, they have lost their members; a good number of their members are still displaced. Parents are yet to connect with their children and wives. Majority have just returned from the Cameroonian borders. They faced a lot of challenges and difficulties, some of them are yet to locate their loved ones. They had their houses heavily looted; their churches were completely burnt down. The returnees are gradually clearing the tables and searching out new ways to make ends meet. Life is pragmatically no longer the same as some persons pointed out; on our return we are beginning life anew.
The community of Mishara in Uba Local government area was agog upon seeing the bishop and the four priests on his entourage. Although, the security network in this community was still tight, there were no vehicular movement, everyone was expected to move on foot. The people who returned had no option, because life was very difficult outside. On returning home, they were not to open their shops, no schools or medical facilities. But they had to return; because home is always home and they were eager to go count their losses. Their homes were terribly looted, their churches and rectories were razed down and their aged parents killed as they refused to recant their faith. In all these, the bishop said they should keep their faith high. The rosary is the major weapon we have in this trying moment.
The bishop told them, for healing to occur they have to forgive the past and look to the future with great hope and confidence. He knows clearly that they have lost their members and loved ones. Some are still displaced; he prayed that in no time they shall be reunited. He told them not to border about the destructions done, particularly on ecclesiastical structures, they belong to God and he alone knows how to reconstruct his house.
The prelate knows full well that at this moment of trial people would ask some existential questions; regarding the existence of God, while all these killings and destructions are ongoing, he charged them to remain focus because God would work out wonders in our life as a church. There should be no draw backs in our faith journey.
For the bishop, The Lord in his abundant knowledge might have allowed this great persecution to befall us in order that he might teach us some great lessons. In this post-war times, we should come closer to God. Our lives should be purified and God must be our point of attraction. We must take church activities seriously. Since the Boko Haram violent saga was meant to purify our faith.
As we count our losses, we also count our blessings…thanks to Boko Haram for adding more MARTYRS in the Canon of the Saints of the Catholic Diocese of Maiduguri in heaven…..
By Rev. Gideon Obasogie, Director Social Communications Catholic Diocese of Maiduguri
Persecuted Christians in North Nigeria have and are suffering greatly. Remember to keep them in your prayers. Pray that they will remain strong in faith. And in Christ, to endure through trials overcoming the darkness that is trying to consume them.
Voice of the Persecuted’s aid mission, Project 133 is working in Nigeria to aid those who are now faced with rebuilding their lives, including orphans and widows who are at the greatest risk of further abuse. Missions in Nigeria have been overwhelmed by the extreme numbers of the displaced(IDP’s). And with each trip to the affected areas, the numbers documented grow, particularly cases of widows and orphans.
Voice of the Persecuted has stepped in to help with the great needs of the suffering. We are very concerned for their long term status and will work to aid them in becoming self sufficient. But we cannot do this alone and need your help. If the Lord has put it on your heart to do more for the care of our suffering family in Christ, please join us by partnering in the mission to save one family at a time. If you have not been sure of how to help, become a part of this mission to bring joy to those in great trial, as One in the Body.
Together with your generous support, we can reach the goal to alleviate horrific suffering. In darkness and desperation, let us serve in love, with open arms and giving hands to provide light and hope.
Everyday, we thank God that He is working through you to care for His children and further His Kingdom! As you have greatly blessed others, may God continue to bless you. Thank you so much for your support. We couldn’t do it without you!