Giving hope to persecuted Christians since 1995
Select Page

05/05/2022 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – “Make sure you remain a lover of the world, for ‘God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son,’” the pastor cautioned the newly ordained, bright-eyed American ministers about to embark on their own domestic ministry work. Her words brought to mind a church planter in India, Pastor Vinod, whose ministry work deeply embodies John 3:16.

Pastor Vinod comes from a strict Hindu family that was highly devoted to idol worship and other related practices. Though his parents were busy with six children, Vinod felt a deep love from his father. While Vinod was still in school, his father died, leaving him completely shattered. “I developed so much negativity towards life and had many questions. I went on knowing life with so many bad habits, realizing I had no peace and there was no one to love me.”

He grew up, and life went on. But in 1977, Vinod encountered Christians and listened to their Bible studies. “The teachings of Jesus were very attractive; I was given a New Testament. Curiosity grew when I read John 3:16 and later was led in prayer by a Christian friend. I felt newness in my heart, and my pain slowly started departing.”

Living as a Christian in India has never been easy, but things have become extremely challenging in certain states over the past several years. Vinod lives in the state of Uttar Pradesh, where Christians are the most heavily persecuted. The Chief Minister is an extreme right-wing Hindu nationalist, and under his leadership, he has popularized a brand of anti-Christian legislation known as anti-conversion laws. Any Christian practicing their faith openly risks being charged under this law, which is meant to keep Hindus from converting to Christianity.

Pastors doing outreach are particularly at risk, but this does not deter Pastor Vinod. “I face opposition from the radical Hindu nationalists; the frequency has now increased after the new anti-conversion law enacted in the state two years ago.” Vinod has been sharing the gospel since the year 2000, but it was this law that inspired him to do more focused outreach. ICC supplied him with a bike and Bibles so that he could reach more people. He has consequently established ten fellowships in the last two years, even while being infected with COVID-19 on five different occasions. “I am thankful that God has protected me in the midst of so much fear of virus and sickness.”

Vinod’s pastoral ministry embodies a love for the world as described in John 3:16. His ministry work on the front line serves as a stark reminder that even when the world does everything to discourage loving Christ, Jesus still calls us to love the world.

To read more stories like this, sign up for ICC’s free monthly magazine.