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Indian Pastor Witnesses for Christ Despite Persecution

An article titled “Arrests, Beatings, and Prayers: Inside the Persecution of India’s Christians” details the persecution of Christians in India. The article states: "In church after church, the very act of worship has become dangerous despite constitutional protections for freedom of religion."

The end of the article focuses on Pastor Vinod Patil, who refuses to stop witnessing for Jesus but must operate like a secret agent. From the article:

He leaves his house quietly and never in a group. He jumps on a small Honda motorbike and putters past little towns and scratchy wheat fields, Bible tucked inside his jacket. He constantly checks his mirrors to make sure he is not tailed.

Hindu extremists have warned Pastor Patil that they will kill him if they catch him preaching. So last year he shut down his Living Hope Pentecostal Church, which he said used to have 400 members, and shifted to small clandestine services, usually at night.

One cold night this past winter, Pastor Patil drove to a secret prayer session in an unmarked farmhouse. He quickly stepped inside. On a dusty carpet that smelled like sheep, two dozen church members waited for him. Most were lower-caste farmers. When a dog barked outside, one woman whipped around and whispered, “What’s that?”

Pastor Patil reassured the woman that God was watching over. He cracked open his weathered, Hindi-language Bible and rested his finger on Luke 21, an apt passage for his beleaguered flock. “They will seize you and persecute you,” he read, voice trembling. “They will put some of you to death. Everyone will hate you because of me.”

Pastor Patil says, “You get this energy just thinking about his name.” The journalist concluded the article by stating, “They believe deeply in the teachings of Jesus.”

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