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Jatya
Photo: VOM Australia

A year after facing persecution for the eighth time, 90-year-old Jatya is prepared to suffer yet again. Despite fierce opposition, the elderly Christian man remains eager to share the good news of the Gospel to all who are willing to hear. The frail yet energetic believer lives in a village of southern India that's heavily populated with paid informants for the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a national volunteer organization that aims to intimidate and even force Christians into returning to their nation's "Hindu roots."

Trouble first began for Jatya in 1992 when he refused to sign a document promising to stop evangelizing. Police officers responded to Jatya's stubbornness by breaking all of his fingers. Three years later, Hindu radicals beat and dragged him to the police station where he spent a week in prison. The scars on Jatya's left arm and hand are constant reminders of the third time he was persecuted for his faith. In this incident, a Hindu extremist had whipped him with a bicycle chain, causing severe lacerations. Evidence of further attacks are contained in a manila packet filled with photos and newspaper articles reporting on each occurrence.

Yet when Jatya returns home from the hospital after each brutal beating, he simply takes his Bible and continues witnessing to others of his village. He regularly prays with Hindus, hands out Gospel tracts and tells local residents that Jesus died for them too. Together, he and two of his nine children co-pastor a church of about 40 people who meet in a small room attached to the side of his house.

Though Jatya has received countless beatings for proclaiming his faith, he is determined to share the Gospel at all costs -- even until his last breath. As Jatya continues to fervently serve God by reaching out to others, pray that his church will continue to be a light in his village of about 10,000 Hindus. May the Lord powerfully demonstrate His love to these villagers so they will readily receive His gift of eternal salvation.

Current Ministry Projects

VOMC VOMC assists persecuted Christians with legal support and rehabilitation assistance, and cares for children of martyrs by providing them with a safe place to be nurtured physical and spiritually. VOMC also partners to equip Christians in India with Biblical training and works to strengthen and support marginalized and persecuted Christian women. Additionally, VOMC helps to provide medical assistance to believers who have faced injuries after being attacked.”

Project Funds: Families of Martyrs, Equipping the Saints, Legal Defense, Relief and Development, Women’s Ministry, Medical Fund

Country Information

Designation
Persecuted

Population
1,339,330,514 (July 2021 est.)

Ethnicity (%)
Indo-Aryan (72), Dravidian (25), Mongoloid and other (3)

Religion (%)
Hinduism (79.8), Muslim (14.2), Christianity (2.3), Sikh (1.7), other (2)

Leader
President Ram Nath Kovind (2017)

Government type
Federal parliamentary republic

Legal system
Based on English common law; separate personal law codes apply to Christians, Hindus and Muslims.

Source: CIA World Factbook

Pray for India

Despite the intimidation and violence that have taken place in many of India's states, may Christians wisely yet unashamedly preach the Gospel. Pray that indigenous Christians and foreign missionaries will minister in ways that do not hint at fraudulent conversions, unmasking the intentions behind the anti-conversion legislation. Intercede for India's leaders, that they may reign with justice and righteousness.

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