The following email came while I was away from home and the crucial time for prayer has now passed. Nor do we know what the situation is now but, whatever the situation, the Christians in Orissa will still need our fervent prayer until peace is restored and the suffering and sorrow ing are comforted and the work able to be continued once more. So I feel the need to ask you to join me in prayer for everyone in Orissa.
URGENT PRAYER REQUEST!
AUGUST 27, 2008
Dear beloved sponsors and friends of GNI, (Good News India)
We have never seen anything like this. We knew that Orissa was the most resistant and hostile State in India as far as the Gospel is concerned. And we brushed off the continuous threats and harassment we faced as we went about His work. But none of our staff imagined that they would see this kind of carnage..... And it seems to be totally under the radar of the Western Media.... Let me explain....
A militant Hindu priest and 4 of his attendants, who were zealously going
around the villages of Orissa and "reconverting" people back to Hinduism,
were gunned down by unknown assailants in Central Orissa last weekend.
Immediately the Christians were blamed. The cry rose up..."Kill the
And the horror began....
In the past 4 days, we have first-hand witness to hundreds of churches being
blown up or burned and many, many dozens of Christian tribals have been
slaughtered. For no other reason than they bear the name of Christ. Night and day I have been in touch with our Good News India Directors spread across 14 Dream Centers in Orissa... they are right in the middle of all this chaos.
In Tihidi, just after the police came to offer protection, a group of 70
blood-thirsty militants came to kill our staff and destroy the home. They
were not allowed to get in, but they did a lot of damage to our Dream Center
by throwing rocks and bricks and smashing our gate, etc. They have promised
to come back and "finish the job." Our kids and staff are locked inside and
have stayed that way with doors and windows shut for the past 3 days. It has
been a time of desperately calling on the Lord in prayer. More police have
come to offer protection.
In Kalahandi, the police and some local sympathizers got to our dream center
and gave our staff and kids about 3 minutes notice to vacate. No one had
time to even grab a change of clothes or any personal belonging. As they
fled, the blood-thirsty mob came to kill everyone in the building. We would
have had a mass funeral there, but for His grace.
All our dream centers are under lock down with the kids and staff huddled
inside and police outside. The fanatics are circling outside waiting for a
chance to kill.
In a nearby Catholic orphanage, the mob allowed the kids to leave and
locked up a Priest and a computer teacher in a house and burned them to
death. Many believers have been killed and hacked into pieces and left on
the road.... even women and children.
More than 5000 Christian families have had their homes burned or destroyed.
They have fled into the jungles and are living in great fear waiting for the
authorities to bring about peace. But so far, no peace is foreseen. This
will continue for another 10 days.... supposedly the 14 day mourning period
for the slain Hindu priest. Many more Christians will die and their houses
destroyed. Many more churches will be smashed down.
The Federal government is trying to restore order and perhaps things will
calm down. We ask for your prayers. Only the Hand of God can calm this
Through all this, I am more determined than ever to continue with our goal:
the transformation of a community by transforming its children. Orissa will
be saved... that is our heart's cry. If we can take these thousands of throw-
away children and help them to become disciples of Jesus, they will transform
an entire region. It is a long term goal, but it is strategic
thinking in terms of the Great Commission.
What can you do? First, please uphold all this in fervent prayer. Second,
pass this e-mail on to as many friends as you can. We must get the word out
and increase our prayer base for this is spiritual warfare at its most basic
meaning. We are literally fighting the devil in order to live for Christ's
The next 10 days are crucial. We pray for peace and calm to pervade across
Thank you for taking the time to read this. Please pass it on and help us to
get as many people to partner with us on this cutting edge effort to fulfill
His mandate: Go and make disciples of all nations....
Dr. Faiz Rahman
I now have up-to-date news of some of the persecuted Christians in Orissa from a friend. He says, 'Let us also remember the recent victims of persecution by extreme Hindus - partiularly in Orissa. Some members of the Friends Missionary Prayer Band are still in danger - even hiding in the jungles with lack of food or water!'
So we must continue to pray fervently for their succour and safety.