Christians Locked out of Their Church
Sept. 16, 2011 Gospel for Asia
A Gospel for Asia-supported missionary and his congregation are locked out of their church building after being accused of forcing people to convert to Christianity.
A congregation in South Asia cannot meet for worship this weekend because their church was vandalized by local anti-Christian fanatics, who also locked them out of the church building.
The trouble started on August 17 when a group of local anti-Christian fanatics confronted Gospel for Asia-supported missionary Jank Nayak at the church where he serves as pastor.
We will kill you if you dont leave this place, the leader bluntly told Jank. Then they forced him into a room at the church. While Jank was locked up, he called his GFA leader, who contacted the police. The officers said they would go to the church, pick up Jank and take him to the police station for his own safety.
The police found Jank, took him into custody and questioned the fanatics. They accused pastor Jank of forcing people to convert to Christianity and changing their faith without permission, as stated in their laws. Jank was released later that same day, but the church was locked by the police and has been closed ever since.
Since then, pastor Jank and the GFA leaders in his area have worked diligently to assure the police that the church is not forcing people to change their faith. A district law enforcement official requested that the local police release the church building back to the pastor, but the doors remain locked.
To make matters worse, on September 4, a group of 21 fanatics returned to the church building and destroyed the windows and broke the cross off the roof. They are also issuing threats to the new believers, saying they must turn their back on Jesus and return to their old faith. They are also continuing to issue death threats against pastor Jank.
So far, the police have done nothing to stop the harassment, nor allowed the believers back into their church building, which is only a year old.
Pastor Jank and his congregation ask for prayer that the police would grant them the use of their building again, and that they would provide protection for the believers when church services resume. Also pray for the believers who are being threatened, that they would remain strong in their faith in spite of the persecution. And pray for safety for pastor Jank, his wife and their two children.