On August 20, 2023, a seemingly normal Sunday morning, Satpal and his fellow believers assembled on the ground floor of his home, ready to praise God and pray. However, their sacred gathering was interrupted by a group of 100 Hindu nationalists who entered the house with sticks, weapons and raised voices, shouting slogans like “Jai Shri Ram” (victory to lord Ram) and “Hindu Rashtra Hamara Hai” (this Hindu nation is ours).
Chaos followed as the intruders tore pages from Bibles, vandalized a portrait of Jesus Christ and attacked several church-goers. Satpal and other members of his congregation suffered injuries; five were taken to the hospital.
When the turmoil subsided and the attackers withdrew, Satpal, undeterred by the hate that had visited his doorstep, immediately took action by praying.
The police have filed a complaint against the attackers, but no one has been arrested.
India has been a recent hotbed of Christian persecution. The year started with violence against Christians and churches in Chhattisgarh, followed by intense persecution in Manipur, where tribal conflict led to burnt religious buildings, displacement of thousands and horrific deaths. And now, just when the dust seemed to be settling, another senseless attack.
But we can take heart in Galatians 6:9, which says, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” We think of Satpal and his congregation. May they find the resolution to continue meeting, worshiping and fellowshipping—even against such opposition—for there is a great reward for those who remain steadfast in their faith.
Let’s pray for the survivors of this attack in Delhi and for the increasing pressure against their faith.
Father God, we are grateful for the belief of Pastor Satpal and his congregation. We’re thankful for their boldness to meet in a country that seemingly wants nothing to do with Christians. Our hearts break over this attack by these Hindu nationalists.
We ask You heal those who have suffered injuries, that they will make a full recovery. We also ask You heal the mental scars such an event can leave behind.
We ask for unity, that this church will become whole again and continue to meet, not fearing another attack. We ask strength and courage for them to pray and worship without restraint.
We pray for justice, that local authorities will hold those accountable who would commit such hateful acts. And we ask for Your miraculous intervention in the lives of the attackers. We know a brief glimpse of You can radically uproot lives. Please touch the hearts of these attackers and let them see the truth that is You.
In Your precious name we pray. Amen.
About the author
Tim Dustin is a writer for Global Christian Relief and strives each day to share the story of the persecuted church with Christians everywhere. Get an overview of Christian persecution on our website and read the latest stories at GlobalChristianRelief.org.