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Is Following Christ Worth It?

A man in India named Piyush recently asked himself a crucial question: “Is following Christ worth it?”

Like the majority of people living in India, Piyush grew up in the Hindu faith. He regularly went to the temple to worship hundreds of gods and goddesses along with members of his family and community. 

But Piyush had a secret. 

Piyush had been a regular listener of a Hindi radio program from the Christian Reformed Church’s media ministry—Back to God Ministry International.  He says the program led him to Jesus, but he feared that telling his family would cause trouble. 

When Piyush eventually shared his newfound faith with his family, they were disturbed. They started pressuring him to return to his old beliefs and became angry when he refused. 

And then things did get worse. His family began to threaten him. They took away his Bible along with his cell phone and locked him in his room. Many times, they even threatened to kill him if he refused to worship their gods and godesses. 

Should he continue on the difficult road of following Jesus?

That’s when Piyush had to ask himself if this new faith in Christ was worth it. Should he continue on the difficult road of following Jesus or give in to his family’s demands?

Piyush persevered by listening to daily messages on his radio from our Hindi ministry team. When Piyush’s family saw that he was going to remain strong in his faith, they stopped actively persecuting him.

Things kept getting worse though. Now Piyush was on his own—without a support system or sense of community. So Piyush turned to the staff he heard on the radio every day, calling them with questions and eventually meeting other Christians in his area. 

Over the last five years, Piyush has also been attending writing workshops with BTGMI’s Hindi ministry team. There, he has connected further with other Christians and some of his work has even been published in the ministry’s magazine. 

Every day, seekers and believers in India are facing pressure on all sides.

However, the opportunity to be published too is in jeopardy. In recent years, India’s government has passed several new laws with the goal of keeping the Hindu faith the national religion. Among other things, this makes sending Christian literature through the post office more difficult. 

Unfortunately this anti-conversion legislature is only getting more strict in India for the time being. Still, Piyush says he is thankful that he has a community of believers at his side. 

Piyush’s story is far from the only one BTGMI staff has heard where new Christians experience this pushback and resistance. Every day, seekers and believers in India are facing pressure on all sides.

Will you please pray that Piyush’s family would be open to learning more about his faith? Pray also that others like him who have not yet found others to support them in their faith would be able to do so. 

Recap: Five things we can learn from Piyush about Persecution in India
  1. The role of family in Indian culture. When someone from a Hindu family like Piyush becomes a Christian, it looks bad for the entire family. This is a large reason why his family hid him in his room. 

  2. Hindu nationalism in Northern India: Since 2014, India’s government has been pushing to make India a Hindu state. This government has the most support in the northern part of India, where Piyush lives. India is currently ranked 10 on Open Door’s World watch list of dangerous countries for Christians.  

  3. Laws are becoming more strict: Although it is still legal to be a Christian, the government is making it more difficult with anti-conversion laws—making publications like the one that Piyush has been published in more difficult to share. 

  4. It’s important to remember that Muslims are also experiencing an increased level of pressure from the government. 

  5. Through prayer for the global church and increasing levels of access to media, people like Piyush can find a sense of community even when they feel like they have lost everything. 

For more articles in this series on 'What I've learned about religious persecution" follow this link!

Photo by Rayan Almuslem on Unsplash

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