|Would you respond as Bartu did?
Bartu has paid the ultimate price for refusing to deny Jesus.
He and his wife were forced to stand in a pond overnight, up to their necks in cold water, their hands tied – for seven hours. In Jharkhand state, India, where they live, temperatures can drop below freezing in winter.
When villagers pulled them out of the pond the next morning, they beat them repeatedly, to force them to return to their traditional religious beliefs. The couple refused. Bartu’s wife survived: he died some time later.
Please pray for Bartu’s family, who have stayed in the village, despite death threats.
Bartu, 50, became a Christian ten years ago, and suffered intense persecution for the past three years. Villagers forced him to attend and participate in indigenous worship ceremonies, threatened him and even allegedly polluted the family’s drinking water.
Initially Bartu’s wife, two sons and daughter-in-law fled the village, but have since returned home. Police have failed to take firm action, describing Bartu’s death as being from ‘natural causes’ and suggesting villagers start ‘peace talks’.
Powerless to intervene, Beneswar kept vigil over his father, Bartu, while he was in the water. ‘The villagers kept asking my father if he is ready to forsake Christ. He reiterated every time, “I will not deny Christ. I will continue to believe till my last breath.”’
- Praise God for the steadfast faith of Bartu and his family. Nine other families who became Christians when they did have since renounced their faith due to persecution. Pray that Bartu’s willingness to die for his faith will inspire them to return to Christ.
- Pray that the rest of the village will also be struck by Bartu’s witness and receive God’s love and grace in Jesus.
- Pray for God’s people throughout India, where intolerance appears to be growing. Pray that He will overwhelm them with His love and peace and give them the courage to stand firm.
- Pray that Bartu’s steadfastness will encourage you to stand firm in your faith.
(Source: Morning Star News)
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