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India: Christian Leader in Madhya Pradesh Run Over by Motorcycles

Church leader Isaac Paulose in hospital after attack in Sehore, Madhya Pradesh state, India. (Morning Star News)

(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.

Our Faith is Active and Alive…..in Persecution We Are Purified.

refugees returning-Betso

THE RETURNING COMMUNITY IN BETSO WITH THE BISHOP Of MAIDUGURI DURING A CONSOLATION TOUR AFTER THE BOKO HARAM MASSACRE

(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.

Bishop Oliver Daesh

BISHOP OLIVER IN INSPECTING A BURNT CHURCH IN BAHULI

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

Voice of the Persecuted

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.

HELP SAVE THE PERSECUTED

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!

Project 133NigeriaLogoURL

 

 

 

 

Inspired To Pray For The Persecuted – Inspired by Faith of the Abedini’s

pray-together

Blaine (Arkansas)

I facilitate a national prayer conference call where we pray for the persecuted Church around the world.  Just about every call, we lift up Nagmeh and Saeed. We also pray for the spread of the Gospel to go forth into the beautiful land of Persia.

***

As you and your ministry prays for the Abedini’s and the VOP … we pray for the Persecution Watch ministry and you.

When we all get to heaven,
What a day of rejoicing that will be!
When we all see Jesus,
We’ll sing and shout the victory!

Steve Anderson, Project Leader

Thank you, Blaine for the commitment to your faithful mission gathering and inspiring the warriors to lift up the persecuted Church, the Abedini’s and the nation of Iran. Your prayers are powerful and Heaven hears!  In the name of Jesus, may the Iranian people come to know the love of Christ. And may hearts be softened in the government for Saeed’s release!

God bless you, Brother!

In Solidarity,

Lois Kanalos, VOP Founder

If you would like to share your testimony and join this project to encourage the Abedini Family and the Body of Christ, CLICK HERE

Read submitted testimonies HERE

May the Holy Spirit Give you Strength Every Day – Inspired by Faith of the Abedini’s

Confirmation

(English translation below)

QUE EL ESPIRITU

REYNA ESTHER (ARGENTINA)

TE DE FUERZAS CADA DÍA Y TE GUARDE EN LO MAS OCULTO DE SU MORADA,, Y EL SEA TU REFRIGERIO CADA DÍA, Y DESDE ARGENTINA LEVANTAMOS TUS BRAZOS PARA QUE GANES LA BATALLA, QUE TU FIEL AMIGO EL QUE EN TE CARGO QUE HICIERES, EL DE LLEVAR BUENAS NUEVAS A LOS POBRES, DESEO QUE EL SEÑOR HAGA RESPLANDECER SU ROSTRO SOBRE TI.
AL IGUAL QUE NAGHMEH Y A TUS PRECIOSOS HIJOS , ORAMOS QUE DIOS PADRE GUARDE SUS VIDAS ASTA TU REGRESO Y DE FUERZAS DE LO ALTO PARA NAGHMEH, Y ESPERANZA PARA PODER ESPERAR, TU VUELTA A TU HOGAR.
QUIERO QUE SEPAS QUE AS SIDO UNA INSPIRACIÓN PARA MI Y MIS HERMANOS A LOS CUALES LES DI A CONOCER TU TESTIMONIO, Y TU ENTREGA TOTAL AL SEÑOR, TU ENTREGA Y LA DE TU ESPOSA HACEN QUE EL LIBRO DE LOS HECHOS CONTINÚEN, DEJANDO TESTIMONIOS PARA LOS QUE NOS SEGUIRÁN DESPUÉS DIOS TE BENDIGA TE QUIERE TU HERMANA

May the Holy Spirit Give you Strength Every Day

May the Holy Spirit give you strength every day and may He keep you in His hidden dwelling. May He be your refuge every day and all the way from Argentina we help to lift your arms so you may win the battle. That your faithful friend who charged you to bring good news to the poor. I pray that the Lord will shine His face upon you. And the same for Naghmeh and your precious children, we pray that our Heavenly Father protects their lives until your return. We pray for supernatural strength and hope for Naghmeh, that she may be able to wait your return home. I want you to know that you have been an inspiration for me and for those who I have shared your testimony with. Your surrender to the Lord and your wife’s surrender to the Lord makes the continuing of the book of Acts, leaving a testimony for those that follow. God bless you. I love you, your sister Reyna Esther

***

“Leaving a testimony for those that follow” indeed Reyna.

An international effort “Testimonies Inspired by Faith of the Abedini Family” has become. We may not speak the same language … wait a second … we do speak the same language. “How good and pleasant it is when brothers and sisters live together in harmony!”

Hebrews 13:21-22 … may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.

Steve Anderson, Project Leader

If you would like to share your testimony and join this project to encourage the Abedini Family and the Body of Christ, CLICK HERE

Read submitted testimonies HERE

Being Shown the Way – Inspired by faith of the Abedini’s

16-13

Michelle (NM)

I have been praying for you and your precious family and from all of this you have shown me how to stand firm on His word and never to stay quiet for the Lord Jesus Christ.

“How to stand firm on His Word and never stay quiet” indeed Michelle. Know that the “Body” too prays for you.

Steve Anderson, Project Leader

If you would like to share your testimony and join this project to encourage the Abedini Family and the Body of Christ, CLICK HERE

We go from a Corruptible to an Incorruptible Life Eternal – Inspired by faith of the Abedini’s

Shawn T. Carson (Alberta, Canada)

May Jesus cover you with His precious blood and we pray that God will, to the Glory of His Name, miraculously see to your safe and soon release! Praise Jesus! May He give you the heavenly strength of the Holy Spirit to shelter and protect you and to fill you with a renewed courage and strength to carry the Name of Jesus in that troubled land. Place not your hope in men but rather in the Eternal God Almighty who holds ALL Power and ALL Might. No evil can stand before Him: every evil is cast down and into utter darkness never to return, In Jesus’ precious name. Amen! My heartfelt blessing and thanks to you Saeed and to you.

Naghmeh, your story though it resulted in many tears as my heart broke for you, it resulted in much steadfast prayer for your deliverance! I pray His will in this matter. God bless you and your children and know this: your testimony is winning many souls to eternal salvation.

I also pray for your oppressors that they may learn the error of their ways and turn to the one True God wherein all hope resides in great abundance!

Maranatha! See You in Glory!

***

Shawn,

Gotta give that a big “Amen” and thank you for reminding us (me) of Matthew 5:43-45.

You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven.

Iron sharpens iron. We’ve (I’ve) been. We (I) pray you “sharpen” over and over and over again. Bless you my friend.

Steve Anderson, Project Leader

If you would like to share your testimony and join this project to encourage the Abedini Family and the Body of Christ, CLICK HERE

TESTIMONIO ME DIO FUERZAS (Your Testimony Gave Me Strength) Inspired by faith of the Abedini’s

Project Leader’s Note: The (very) first “Inspired by Faith of Pastor Saeed and his family” testimony received was Miriam’s of Argentina, in Spanish. The original and an English translation are below.

Project Leader’s Editorial Note: The universal church stands evidenced.

TESTIMONIO ME DIO FUERZAS

MIRIAM (ARGENTINA)

UN DÍA EN ORACIÓN PREGUNTE A DIOS EN CUAL DE LAS IGLESIAS, EL ESTABA , SI EN LA IGLESIA QUE PARECIERA DE FIESTA LLENA DE LUCES Y DE GENTE DESPREOCUPADA POR EL EVANGELIO “”LLENA DE BENDICIONES”” Y DIOS ME DIO LA RESPUESTA DE CUAL ES SU IGLESIA DÁNDOME, A CONOCER LA VIDA DEL PASTOR SAEED EL CUAL CAMINA AL IGUAL QUE LOS APÓSTOLES DE JESÚS, QUE POR LA CAUSA DE JESÚS SERIAN PERSEGUIDOS MT-5:11,PERO AL SER LLEVADOS Y POR LAS AUTORIDADES LLEVADOS A LA CÁRCEL POR CAUSA DE SU NOMBRE, PERO ESO SERVIRÁ PARA DAR TESTIMONIO LUCAS-21:12 AL 19, SERÁN ABORRECIDOS. QUERIDO HERMANO SAEED HAGO MÍA LAS PALABRAS DEL APÓSTOL PABLO,A TIMOTEO , TU PUES , SUFRE PENALIDADES COMO BUEN SOLDADO DE JESUCRISTO.EN EL CUAL PENALIDADES, ASTA PRISIONES A MODO DE MALHECHOR,MAS LA PALABRA DE DIOS NO ESTA PRESA, POR TANTO SOPORTA.

PALABRA FIEL ES ESTA SI SOMOS MUERTOS CON EL , TAMBIÉN VIVIREMOS CON EL ;SI SUFRIMOS,TAMBIÉN REINAREMOS CON EL; SI LE NEGÁRAMOS, EL TAMBIÉN NOS NEGARA. COMO DICE HEBREOS POR LA FE YO MIRIAM TE VEO LIBRE Y FELIZ CON TU FAMILIA , PERO QUIERO QUE EPAS QUE NO ES EN VANO TU TESTIMONIO ES DE GRAN VALOR PARA MI Y PARA LOS QUE TE CONOCEN, QUIERO QUE SEPAS QUE AS INSPIRASTE MI VIDA A ORAR CON EL CORAZÓN QUE CRISTO ORO POR CADA UNO DE NOSOTROS TE AMO EN EL AMOR DEL SEÑOR JESUCRISTO ERES MI HERMANO Y ESTOY FELIZ POR ESO. FUERZAS NO ESTAS SOLO

Your Testimony Gave Me Strength

Miriam (Argentina)

One day in prayer I asked God, in what church would He be in. Would it be in a church that seemed festive, full of lights and people carefree about the gospel, who are “full of blessings”. Then God showed me, what church was His. When I learned about the life of Pastor Saeed, whose walk was similar to that of the apostles of Jesus, that for Jesus’ sake they would be persecuted (Matt. 5:11) and thrown into jail by the authorities and hated for the sake of His name. Though that would be used to give a testimony. (Luke 21:12-19) Dearest brother Saeed, I endorse the words of the apostle Paul, to Timothy, to you. You suffer hardships as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. Even in whatever hardship or prison, the Word of God will not be void.

A faithful word is this; If we die with Him, we will also live with Him; If we suffer, we will also reign with Him; if we deny Him, He will also deny us. Just as Hebrews says by faith, I Miriam, I see you free and happy with your family. But I want you to know that your testimony is not in vain, it is of great value for me and for those who know you. I want you to know that you have inspired my life to pray with the same heart that Christ prayed for each and every one of us. I love you in the love of the Jesus Christ, you are my brother and I am happy for that. Strength be with you, you are not alone.

***

Miriam, the body of Christ stands encouraged. How so? Your message to Pastor Saeed blessed me. Tears of joy I’ve had most of the day. I don’t know you … wait a second … yes I do. As you pray for Pastor Saeed many now pray for you. The body of Christ as meant to be.

“Galatians 3:26-28. So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

Steve Anderson, Project Leader

If you would like to share your testimony and join this project to encourage the Abedini Family and the Body of Christ, CLICK HERE

 

What can they take from me? – Testimony inspired by faith of the Abedini’s

Shirleane Abbott (Idaho)

Saeed once said in response to death threats “I was dead but now I am alive in Christ so what can they take from me?” This radically changed my life. The worst of the worst of the worst is nothing, nothing, compared to my secure eternity in Christ. God has already turned this situation to the good in that he is showing us the way to live sacrificially and be prepared to suffer for our faith, as well increasingly be the case as we near the end! We have been unified, I’m the Body, worldwide. God is using Saeed & Naghmeh to equip the saints. We are strengthened to pick up our cross and follow Christ too!

***

What a question … better yet … what an answer! We pray for an even more “radically changed” life, Shirleane (vice versa too).

Steve Anderson, Project Leader

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