UPDATE on September 3, 2015: The court case has been postponed. AGAIN. The entire town has been in upheaval because farmers are on strike against the government in Karnataka … and that’s why the court hearing didn’t happen. Our partners have been waiting for justice for more than 6 years. This is one more delay in getting justice. The next hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, October 6. Will you pray that there are no more delays? And that the false charges are finally dropped?
A brazen act of persecution in 2009 continues to cast a shadow over the lives of several of our CBC partners, who have been dragged into court to face false charges every month for six years.
The initial persecution came from the attack in August six years ago … when, in the middle of the night, anti-Christian extremists broke into a regional training for Children’s Bible Clubs leaders in Karnataka, India. The extremists destroyed everything they could get their hands on and beat believers brutally.
The second instance of persecution happened when police arrived on the scene … and instead of arresting the attackers, they arrested our Children’s Bible Club partners on the accusation that they coerced children to become Christians.
When Mithun, one of those Bible Club partners, was arrested, he lost his job in the police department. Mithun says that even though times have been hard, God has been faithful to him.
“This arrest has made me come closer to God and grow spiritually. God did not allow my family to starve, but took care of each one of us,” Mithun shares.
Since being released from prison on bail along with our other partners, Mithun continues to serve the Lord in ministry and leads a small house church.
The third (and ongoing) persecution these partners are experiencing is having to drop everything to travel to a courthouse every month, only to be given yet another excuse for a delay in justice. For some of our partners, this is a long and costly trip.
Over the past 6 years, Mithun and the other partners have made more than 70 trips to Karnataka, India, to appear before the court (some must travel 12 hours just to get there). But the courts always make an excuse to postpone the case. A couple of months ago, the excuse was that it is difficult to get all the witnesses, since most of them have moved away from the addresses given and some of them have given wrong addresses.
Our partners were able to produce 7 witnesses before the court in July, but then the court said that the opposing party also needed to produce 6 witnesses to the court in the next hearing—scheduled to happen on August 25. The court also said that two investigating officers have to be present for them to pass judgment on the case.
Please pray for our partners and that there will be no further delays in the courts. Pray that the false charges will finally be dropped!