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Raj Rani on a stretcher after the attack - Photo: Morning Star News
The pastor's wife, Raj Rani, after the attack.
Photo: Morning Star News

On July 12th, a mob comprised of both hard-line Sikhs and Hindus attacked the Evangelical Church of God in the Arniwala area of Punjab, India. Carrying swords and wooden rods, they slashed the head of 19-year-old Lovepreet Singh, resulting in the need for medical intervention and 18 stitches to his scalp. During the violent invasion, the pastor's wife, Raj Rani, had her leg badly broken.

Now weeks after the attack, the injuries to Raj's leg are continuing to pose a problem. Surgeons had to insert rods into her leg and provide treatment for a serious infection that developed in the wounded area. According to her husband, Pastor Roop Lal, the infection has led to skin lesions.

For their safety, the family had to move out of the area. As Raj remains bedridden, her husband and children are caring for her needs and tending to the housework in their new home. Local Christians have provided the family with financial assistance for Raj's medical bills, as well as other expenses.

A police report has been filed against the attackers who, in turn, have filed counter claims against the pastor and his family. Animosity against the Evangelical Church of God has existed for more than 20 years, intensifying as the church has grown. This recent incident occurred after a confrontation between Pastor Roop and an opposing community member. The pastor had been clearing a clogged storm drain on the church compound when a neighbour angrily accused him of diverting rainwater onto his land.

India remains listed as one of the world's most restrictive nations where being a Christian is extremely difficult. For more information on the persecution experienced by followers of Jesus in India, go to our country report.

Please remember this family in your prayers as they now deal with Raj's health concerns, as well as the added challenges of the legal situation and home relocation. Pray that she will fully recover from her leg injuries, as well as the resulting infection, and for the complete healing of the young man who was also badly wounded during the attack. In spite of the persecution perpetrated against these believers, may the ministry of the church continue to wonderfully impact their former community for Christ. Pray that those responsible for the attack will come to know the truth of the Gospel and respond by turning to faith in Him.

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Current Ministry Projects

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.”

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

Country Information

Designation
Persecuted

Population
1,326,093,247 (July 2020 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

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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