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A persecuted Indian believer’s perseverance

April 16, 2024 by Chandler Peterson in Persecuted Christians in India

One day, Divya’s sister found a Gospel tract that contained the address of a local prayer group. She suggested taking Divya to this group to ask for healing, but her parents were appalled. 

“If this healing is impossible for our deities, then what would this foreign God do?” they asked.

Divya finds miraculous healing

Divya went with her sister to meet the prayer group in secret. In the two months she attended, she found physical and spiritual healing. She learned to worship joyfully and read the word of God. Divya surrendered her life to the Lord and returned to her village with newfound joy.

“I had experienced God’s healing, and I wanted to share with everyone,” she said. 

When Divya shared the Gospel with her family, they responded not with shared joy, but with horror. They abused her verbally and physically when they saw she had stopped worshipping the family idols. They withheld food from her and taunted her relentlessly. 

Yet despite this persecution, Divya could not keep silent about what Christ had done for her. She started sharing Bible stories with local children and praying for them. Seeing her commitment and transformation, her family slowly softened towards her and her faith. Over the next year, Divya’s whole family followed in her footsteps and accepted Christ. 

A persecuted Indian believer is arrested

The family started a church in their own home. Soon, people were coming from surrounding communities by the hundreds. However, this did not sit well with everyone in their village. Vicious mobs beat her father and chased her brother into a sewage grate, where he was badly injured. 

But Divya did not lose heart, even as the persecutors set their sights on her. One Sunday, during a time of worship and prayer, two vans full of police officers barged in and took Divya. 

When the officers interrogated her, Divya boldly spoke about her faith in Jesus Christ. Infuriated, the officers beat and kicked her mercilessly until she fell to the floor, unconscious. Thinking that she was faking it, a policewoman threw hot tea on her face. Divya had to have surgery for broken ribs and severe facial burns.

She was sent to prison, but was banned from her village after her release. Her fellowship group was shut down. After experiencing persecution, some of Divya’s siblings blamed her for their problems and abandoned their faith.

She continues to face harassment from the police due to an ongoing case of forceful conversion filed against her. But despite this persecution, Divya continues to grow in her faith. She is engaged to be married to a Christian man and they plan to serve the Lord together in ministry.

“The Lord will provide,” she said. “If I can receive healing and joy from the Lord, why not troubles and trials? Christ has suffered more for me. Why would I not suffer a tiny bit for Him?”

*Divya’s name has been changed for her safety.

About the author
Chandler Peterson is a staff writer and editor for Global Christian Relief where she shares stories of Christian persecution. Read the latest Christian persecution stories on our website and learn more at GlobalChristianRelief.org.

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