Sustaining India’s Persecuted Pastors
By ICC’s India Correspondent
04/22/2020 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – “Sitting in jail, I could only think of one thing,” Pastor Mohan Massih recently told International Christian Concern (ICC). “That was whether or not my wife and children had any food to eat.”
In August 2019, Pastor Massih spent 18 days in jail. This imprisonment happened after he was brutally beaten and falsely charged with forced religious conversions by a mob of radical Hindu nationalists.
Pastor Massih leads an independent house church in Ghaziabad, located about 45 minutes outside of Delhi. There, 60 people regularly gathered in his rented home for worship.
On August 9, 2019, a mob of Bajrang Dal activists attacked. The incident started when members of the mob broken into Pastor Massih’s home at approximately nine in the morning. Pastor Massih, his family, as well as two other Christians who had joined Pastor Massih for prayer, were present when the attack took place.
Without a word, the Bajrang Dal activists started beating Pastor Massih and the two other Christians. After the beating, Pastor Massih was arrested and sent to jail. According to later reports, the Bajrang Dal activists falsely accused Pastor Massih of forcefully converting Hindus to Christianity.
For the next 18 days, Pastor Massih sat in jail and awaited a court decision to see if he would be released on bail.
During this time, food for Pastor Massih’s family became scarce. With the family’s primary breadwinner in jail, the burden of feeding the family became very difficult. In addition to this, ongoing threats and harassment by the Bajrang Dal activists kept Pastor Massih’s congregation scattered and unable to help the family.
“All that I wished was that my wife and kids could get food on their plates,” Pastor Massih told ICC, remembering this difficult time.
After 18 days in jail, Pastor Massih was released on bail. However, the difficult situation faced by the family continued. Unable to gather his congregation, Pastor Massih failed to gather enough support for his family. In addition to this, Pastor Massih had to attend regular court hearings and endure the harassment of radicals.
This was when ICC stepped in to support Pastor Massih and his family by providing six months of living support. This support included food aid, house rent, and school fees. This critical support helped Pastor Massih and his family survive.
“I am very thankful that my family never had to starve because God’s people stood with us and helped sustain us,” Pastor Massih explained. “The aid sustained us for six months. ICC covered many expenses so that I could deal with the legal case.”
“I was so depressed when I came out of the jail,” Pastor Massih continued. “Everything seemed to be against me, and no one was around to help. I never thought something like this would take place until I came into contact with ICC, and the support was delivered. I was thrilled to see how God provided when everything looked so grim and impossible.”
With ICC’s support, Pastor Massih has been able to get his life and ministry back on track. The aid allowed Pastor Massih to recollect his congregation, deal with the false criminal allegations leveled against him, and care for his family.
We are only able to do this work through the generosity of ICC’s supporters. Please consider giving to ICC’s Rescue: Wives and Kids Fund to support more projects like the aid provided to Pastor Massih.