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Pastor persecuted in India refuses to stop preaching

May 4, 2024 by Chandler Peterson in Persecuted Christians in India

Shailesh was born into a devout Hindu family in Central East India. His family was plagued with various illnesses. His mother suffered several snake bites, while one of his brothers suffered from poor mental health. In desperation, the family reached out to sorcerers and occultists, attempting to appease them through gifts and donations.

“There was no peace, despite fulfilling all required religious duties and rituals,” Shailesh said. Amidst all this, my heart was restless and in search of a true God. I used to ask the priests and sorcerers my questions and asked them which god could solve our problems.”

Shailesh never received satisfying answers. Instead, he was instructed to keep up his Hindu rituals—and told which deities to worship.

Whenever I used to sit in front of the idols, I would hear my father’s voice in my head urging me to keep worshipping to get reverence on this earth. Yet, I stopped worshipping them,” Shailesh remarked.

A pastor persecuted in India hears the gospel

As a teenager, Shailesh came upon someone preaching the Word. The preacher read from John 14:6, where Jesus says, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Shailesh accepted the Lord as his Savior, despite opposition from his family. 

“Many godly people prophesied that I was called to be a servant of the Lord,” Shailesh recalled. He started preaching the Gospel and eventually founded a church.

Earlier this year, Shailesh, his family, and another Christian family returned home from a trip to visit friends who were not Christians. Upon their arrival, they were met by an angry mob. Furious with Shailesh’s faith, the mob started beating and kicking the family, including the vulnerable Christian children.  

Shailesh was injured with rods and sticks and kicked repeatedly until he was unconscious. He was rushed to a hospital where he remained in critical care for 10 days.  

Because of serious injuries to his head, his family and the church prepared for the worst. No one thought he was going to make it through. But to the surprise of his doctors, Shailesh recovered quickly. He has since returned to his church and continues to heal. 

“I am like Lazarus,” he declared, smiling. “The life I have received is for doing more for the Lord. I am now better prepared for ministry. I have faith that thousands of souls remain to be won for the Lord.”

Despite persecution in India, Shailesh refuses to give up

God has already used the injuries Shailesh suffered for good. After the attack, the friends Shailesh had visited renounced their old religion and accepted Christ.

When asked about the village where he was persecuted, Shailesh said, “I am not afraid. Due to the tense situation in the village, I have not returned there, but I will surely go to that village again one day.”

Shailesh finds his purpose in following the Great Commission found in Matthew 28: “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

“I want to fulfill this till the last breath of my life,” shared the pastor persecuted in India. 

We invite our readers to say a prayer for Shailesh now.

Father, we thank You for calling Shailesh to preach the Gospel in a part of the world where so many worship false idols. Lord, we are moved by this man’s courage to stay the course, despite serious persecution. Please place a hedge of protection over him, his family and the church. May they draw thousands to Christ and grow in number daily. Amen. 

*Please note: Shailesh’s name has been changed for his protection. The photo is a representative image of a believer in India. 

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

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