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Discussion Forum : News and Current Events : GFA Missionaries Held Hostage To Be Killed within 48 Hours!

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 GFA Missionaries Held Hostage To Be Killed within 48 Hours!

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Anti-Christian elements in Bihar have captured, severely beaten and are threatening to kill GFA native missionary Pastor Manrathan and his wife. GFA Bible woman Sarita is also being held hostage.

An anti-Christian mob from six villages holds the Gospel workers tied to a sacred tree, demanding 25,000 rupees as a ransom for desecrating their village with the Gospel. If the exorbitant amount is not received within 48 hours, they plan to kill the missionaries as a sacrifice to their deities. There are no police in the isolated area to intervene. GFA leaders are fervently praying for wisdom on how they can best help the situation.

The anti-Christian group spearheading the incident is the same one that burned missionary Graham Staines and his two children alive in Orissa several years ago. In recent years a number of GFA missionaries serving in their native India have been brutally murdered for sharing their faith as well.

Pastor Manrathan’s village has proven extremely dangerous for Christian workers, yet God has blessed his courage and commitment. They recently planted a church in this remote area of North India. A few weeks ago, Pastor Manrathan held a service where new believers publicly proclaimed their Christian faith. It was a significant time for the congregation. One new believer, a tribal person, renounced his old faith publicly by turning away from everything else to believe in God.

This act was brought to the attention of the whole village by his neighbors, who objected to his conversion. In no time, the news of this event spread to six surrounding villages. Soon a large mob descended on the small congregation of new believers and began to beat them. Pastor Manrathan, his wife and Sarita were taken from the church, beaten mercilessly and tied to a tree. No one was allowed to leave the village, to prevent others from hearing of the beatings. Only yesterday, one of the believers escaped with the news.

Your urgent prayers for the lives of these missionaries are needed. Pray the Lord will give them strength and that His presence would be real to them during this time of trial and persecution. Pray also for endurance and boldness. We will let you know as we receive further news.


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 2004/9/9 16:35Profile
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 Re: GFA Missionaries Held Hostage To Be Killed within 48 Hours!

This was just sent out in a email from GFA (gospel of asia) organisation. May we start to pray that God will release and rescue them. In Jesus Name.


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 2004/9/9 16:36Profile
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UPDATE -- GFA Missionary Hostages Released

In a miraculous turn of events, three Gospel for Asia native missionaries captured yesterday in the Indian state of Bihar have been released.

Pastor Manrathan, his wife and Bible woman Sarita were severely beaten and tied to a sacred tree by an anti-Christian group. Their captors demanded a ransom of 25,000 rupees within 48 hours and threatened to kill the three Gospel workers if the full amount was not received.

While I am still waiting on the full details, I wanted to inform you of this wonderful news as soon as possible. We are so grateful for how the Lord has answered the prayers of thousands of believers worldwide.

Please continue to pray for these three native missionaries as they recover from their injuries, that they would take hold of God’s grace made so abundant during suffering such as theirs.

And let us not forget others in our family of believers who continue to face opposition, persecution, imprisonment and even death for the sake of Jesus. Our 14,000 GFA pastors and missionaries, who share His love in some of the most difficult regions of Asia, need wisdom, endurance and boldness. Ask the Lord to especially strengthen the new believers in their churches.

We will be sure to send a full report as soon as we have more information.

For those who have never heard,
K.P. Yohannan


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 2004/9/10 18:55Profile
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Yes! Praise God! Just got the news as well...Thank you Lord.


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Mike Balog

 2004/9/10 20:25Profile
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Yes! Praise God! Just got the news as well...Thank you Lord.


yes Praise God what an awesome answer to prayer.. there must have been so many saints storming the throne of grace.. reminds me of the early church praying for Paul!


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 2004/9/10 21:07Profile
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 Re:

Here is a follow up interview with Pastor Manrathan.

[u]09/13/04: Interview with Released GFA Missionary Hostage[/u]

Imagine yourself being severely beaten for sharing Christ in a remote Indian village. Last week, several Gospel for Asia missionaries in Bihar, North India, suffered heavy beatings, were tied to a sacred tree and received threats of death within 48 hours if unable to pay an exorbitant ransom.

As the family of God worldwide began to pray about this crisis, 17 Gospel for Asia pastors from the surrounding districts gathered together and went to the leaders of the anti-Christian group holding the missionaries. The pastors appealed to each member individually and to the group as well, trusting God to intervene on their behalf.

At first the pastors were only met with anger and threats, but then tensions miraculously subsided. After further warnings, the group let the missionaries go. It was almost a repeat of the incident in Acts 4 as the pastors observed, right before their eyes, how the Lord supernaturally changed their enemies’ hearts.

One of the missionaries held hostage was Pastor Manrathan. Here, in his own words, he relates his experience and how the Lord sustained him and his coworkers:

[b]How many people attacked you?[/b]

Around 400 men and women attacked us.

[b]What did they say to you when they were first threatening you?[/b]

They confronted a believer, demanding, “Why are you leaving your religion and becoming a Christian?” Then they accused me of misleading people and forcing them to become Christians. After that they began to beat us.

[b]Where did they beat you?[/b]

They beat me on my head, chest, back and both arms.

[b]What did they use to beat you?[/b]

They beat me with their hands and kicked me. They also used a “gulel” (pellet bow) to shoot stones at me.

[b]Why did they keep your hands tied as they beat you?[/b]

They tied our hands behind our backs in order to keep us from running away.

[b]Did you think you were going to die?[/b]

At that time we were thinking that surely they would kill us. We lost our hope because they were thinking of taking us into the forest and killing us there, or tying us to a tree and burning us. It was a horrible time for us.

[b]What thoughts did you have during all this?[/b]

I was thinking the Lord will surely save us from this death. I was thinking the Lord Jesus will save us all; we are in His hand.

[b]What will you do now that you have faced this persecution?[/b]

Now I am thinking that I will never forsake the ministry. When the situation becomes better in that village, I will go back to the same place to work.

[b]Do you feel that your faith is stronger than it was before?[/b]

I now believe more than ever before that the Lord is with me all the time. God has saved me from the mouth of death, and He can protect me every time.

[b]How do you feel toward those who beat you?[/b]

I am hoping that somehow the Lord may help them so that they may know Him and come to the faith. It was because they did not know the truth that they beat me.

[b]Are you planning to one day return to the same place?[/b]

I am planning to serve in the same place once the situation settles down, and I believe the Lord will use me at that place for many to come to the Lord.

[b]What would you like to say to those people who have been praying for you?[/b]

We would like to say to all those who were praying for us that because of your prayers, we were delivered. We were in the mouth of death and we were saved through your prayers. And we thank you all from the depths of our hearts.

[b]Do you feel persecution will decrease or increase in the next year?[/b]

No matter what, I strongly believe that the situation will change in this place and the ministry will grow, and many people will come to the faith.

[b]Do you think persecution is good or bad for the ministry?[/b]

It is good for ministry because it helps people grow stronger in faith, and revival will come in the end.

[b]What has the Lord taught you through this incident?[/b]

Through this incident the Lord taught me, ‘I (the Lord) am with you.’

[b]What helped you to stand strong during this persecution?[/b]

When they were beating me, the Lord’s Spirit helped me bear the pain and I was not feeling much pain in my body. At that time I also remembered Paul’s life story, when he was going through this kind of situation. That brought me much encouragement at that moment.

[i]Here’s how you can pray for Pastor Manrathan, his wife and Bible woman Sarita:[/i]
*Pray for the hearts of those who persecuted them to be transformed.
*Pray for believers in the area to remain faithful and for more to come to Christ.
*Pray that Pastor Manrathan and the others will remain faithful and their injuries will heal soon.

Pastor Manrathan’s story is not unusual. A number of Gospel for Asia’s 14,000 native missionaries ministering on the Indian subcontinent daily risk persecution for sharing their faith. Yet many times they boldly choose to continue ministry, that their people may be reached with the Good News. Thank you for holding up the arms of these dear brothers and sisters in Christ through your prayers.

[url=http://www.gfa.org/gfa/urgent]http://www.gfa.org/gfa/urgent[/url]


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Mike Balog

 2004/9/14 21:35Profile





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