Open doors

For you, O God, tested us; you refined us like silver.
– Psalm 66.10 (NIV)

Dear Christian Friends

Praise God with us for the wonderful news last Friday (8 June) of the release of three Indonesian Sunday School teachers who were imprisoned for allegedly trying to convert Muslim children. Their release from prison was a joyful event, and you can read about it and see photos and a short video on our website.

But elsewhere last Friday, in the suburbs of Bangalore, India, a mob of Hindu ultra-nationalists beat Pastor Laxmi Narayan Gowda and tried to set him on fire before parading him naked through the streets.

The incident took place at about 7.00pm, when about 50 people barged into the pastor’s house and threatened him with violence unless he moved out of the area.

The group returned with 100 more people shortly after, cornered Pastor Gowda in his house, and began assaulting him in front of his wife and two small children.

One of the assailants threw kerosene on the pastor, and others started burning Bibles. Someone threw a burning Bible onto Pastor Gowda, but miraculously he did not catch fire.

The nationalists then stripped Pastor Gowda naked and hung a board around his neck that said ‘I am the one who was converting people’, then they paraded him through the area.

The assailants burned at least 250 Bibles and also vandalised furniture and equipment.

Pastor Gowda has been working in the area for the last 12 years.

Dr Sam Paul, the All India Christian Council’s public affairs secretary, said that although Karnataka state was known for anti-Christian attacks, the situation has become even more volatile in the state since an ultra-nationalistic political party came to power in February 2006.

Please pray with us for him as he is recovering in hospital from bruises.

You can read more details on our website.

Please pray with us that:

• Pastor Gowda will be fully healed physically and emotionally from this attack

• His wife and children will be strengthened and comforted by the Lord and healed of the trauma they’ve experienced

• Police and politicians in Karnataka state will be moved to intervene and prevent anti-Christian attacks like this.

Thank you for praying with us.

Every blessing

John
Communications Team

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