Gospel for Asia leaders in Hyderabad, India, today are working for the release of a pastor who was arrested while accompanying a GFA women’s mobile team that was showing a film about Jesus.
GFA President K.P. Yohannan said he was “deeply disappointed,” adding, “this incident took place while our brothers and sisters were trying to share the love of Christ and help those in need.
“While our leaders work for the release of the pastor,” he requested, “let us all join together in prayer, remembering that our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities and powers of darkness.”
After a day of sharing Gospel literature and visiting in homes in a village in central Andhra Pradesh, the women’s team was surprised when about 1,000 people came to the film showing that evening. Team members said they usually don’t expect more than a two hundred people to attend.
During the screening, the women’s team noticed some police officers patrolling the crowd but thought it was probably just a routine patrol; there had recently been trouble in the area. Toward the end of the film, however, some plainclothes officers confronted the Christian women. They falsely accused the pastor and mobile team members of trying to forcibly convert the people. The police also tried to confiscate one team member’s cell phone. The police then grabbed the pastor and took him to the police station.
“The officers ordered that all of our things—the vehicle, film equipment and Gospel literature—be kept there in the village,” one of the team members reported. Fortunately, the women were able to pack up all of the equipment into their vehicle and move it to a nearby church compound. The women have taken shelter in the church building.
“Please pray for the women’s team members and the pastor’s wife,” said a GFA correspondent on the scene. “They are very frightened.”
GFA leaders in India are asking that Christians around the world pray for this situation—just one more instance of anti-Christian forces trying to keep seeking men, women and children from knowing the love of Jesus.Andhra Pradesh is a major tourist destination in India.