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Blood Of The Martyrs: Revival In The Jungles Of India

From Breaking Christian News:

A district in India once known for its extreme persecution of Christians is now hosting massive evangelistic events where hundreds of Hindus and tribal animists are embracing Jesus Christ. (Photo: Christian Aid Mission)

According to a report from Christian Aid Mission, the predominantly Hindu Kandhamal District in eastern India was at one time "a hotbed of Hindu persecution of Christians."

The persecution reached its peak in 2008, when Hindu leader Swami Lakshmanananda Saraswati—viewed as a messiah figure by many Hindus—was murdered. At the time, radical Hindus spread rumors that Christians had killed him, even though non-Christian Maoists said they had killed Saraswati.

Hindu extremists retaliated with attacks that wounded thousands, destroyed 300 church buildings and 6,000 homes, displaced at least 50,000 people for months. While carrying tridents, mobs shouting the praises of Hindu gods shot Christians, burned them with fire and acid, dismembered them with swords and knives, beat them with iron rods, clubs and axes, raped them, and forced them to undergo "reconversion" ceremonies that included drinking water with cow feces. Many Christians that fled into the jungles died from disease and snake bites.

Even today, Christians are despised for being from lower classes and face shunning, being seen as anti-Indian for embracing a non-Hindu faith perceived as "Western." According to Fox News, there have been 26 documented incidents of religiously motivated violence against Christians spread across the subcontinent since Jan. 1, but Hindu radicals enjoy near complete impunity for their actions.

However, those very jungle sites where hundreds of Christians died are today used for evangelistic events, which an indigenous ministry director said have been "wildly successful." So far, the group has held 14 such evangelistic events since last August, with 1,000 to 2,000 attending each one.

"By God's grace we are holding evangelistic jungle camps everywhere the violence took place," he said. "It is God's doing. The violence took place almost everywhere in Kandhamal District. We held a jungle camp at one village church, and in 2008 that church building had been attacked, broken and set on fire, and the Believers had fled to the jungle for safety."

He added, "They are happy to accept Jesus as their God and Savior and to live for Him in the midst of persecution. Thousands are gathering in the jungle camps in Kandhamal District to hear the living Word of God. People were happy and encouraged to live for Jesus and His kingdom."

He shared the story of one 53-year-old woman, whose name is withheld for security reasons, who put her faith in Christ at one of the first events on Aug. 29 of last year. She was baptized along with her husband earlier this month. (Photo: Christian Aid Mission)

Previously her devotion to Hinduism included drinking water purportedly used to wash the feet of the late Saraswati, the director said. Later, she bounced from one religion to another, but said she had hated Christians her entire life.

"They were worshiping all kinds of gods and goddesses," he said. "She was healed in the name of Jesus after she was completely possessed by an evil spirit, which led her to go from one faith to another faith in search of salvation from sickness and sadness. She is healed now and testifying that Jesus is the true and loving God."

The woman revealed that her son had also embraced Christianity: "I was searching for this kind of life, and Jesus gave it to me," she said. "He is the only true and loving God.


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