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From Persecutor of the Church to Persecuted Pastor

Before he met Jesus, Ravan worked as a paid assailant for the RSS, a Hindu nationalist organization in India. For seven years, Ravan relished his role as a hired thug. After the death of his father when Ravan was 15-years-old, he was ripe for the RSS’ recruitment to persecute Christians. The RSS trained him to find Christian farmers, beat them, and hand them over to police. Ravan says he felt powerful and happy for the sense of purpose, national pride, and camaraderie.

But the Lord was preparing his heart for a much deeper purpose. His mother, who had become a Christian years earlier, earnestly prayed for her son to meet Jesus. Ravan said, “Ever since I was small, I used to tell her to pray quietly. Sometimes I would wear headphones to drown out the sound of her praying.” But after a near-fatal motorcycle accident, his RSS friends abandoned him. His mother was the only person who stood by him. When his mother invited him to church, he balked, especially considering the suffering he had caused the Christian community. But the pastor surprised Ravan with gentleness and love.

Ravan soon trusted in Jesus, married a Christian woman, and together they planted a church. He said, “I saw how I had been in my old life and how I lived now. I felt a burden within me to do something in return for God.” Six months after his newfound faith in Christ, his former RSS friends started persecuting him.

Ravan expects more persecution in the future, but he also says,

There’s a lot of zeal within me that no matter what comes. We face a lot of persecution, but when I read the Bible and pray, I have experienced God speak to me. I have learned that persecution is a part of the Christian faith. But I am determined to never turn back from my ministry. God gave me new life, so it doesn’t matter even if I die.

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