“Ghar Vapasi” means return home in Hindi. It sounds like a nice idea, but it’s the name taken by a fanatical Hindu movement in India that seeks to reconvert all the people who’ve left Hinduism in recent years. And it’s getting violent.
Recently, Ashok Masihi (a name used to protect his identity) was leading a Bible study of about 25 people in a believer’s house in one of the remote villages where he ministers. The meeting came to an abrupt end when a group of young men stormed in, angrily announcing that Christian prayers are no longer allowed in their village. When the owner of the house tried to calm the men down, they struck him twice in front of his family as a means of publicly shaming him for converting to Christianity and allowing Christians to gather in his house.
They then ordered everyone to leave. The leader of the violent group then forcefully grabbed Ashok and, shaking uncontrollably from anger and hatred, began shouting at him. Four times he lifted his hand to strike Ashok, but each time an invisible force seemed to restrain him. In frustration, he finally shoved Ashok to the ground and cautioned him to never return again if he valued his life.
The threats and violence continue to spread. Because of the growing persecution, several other churches in nearby regions have completely disbanded. Pray for those believers.
And please remember to pray for Ashok, his family, and his congregation. The writer of the book of Hebrews admonishes us to remember “those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering” (Heb. 13:3). Knowing that God has his back, Ashok continues to risk his life ministering to the new believers in this village, teaching and showing them how to endure persecution. Let’s stand with them.
On their behalf,
Director, National Missionary Fund