Stories & News
Swarana and Bandhu Used to Persecute Christians…But Not Anymore
If you’ve partnered with Mission India for a while, you may remember stories dating back to 2008, when radical anti-Christian mobs attacked believers in months of rioting that left 50,000 Christians displaced and more than a hundred dead in the state of Odisha.
Swarana and her husband Bandhu were both involved—but just recently, their lives were changed.
Back when they were involved in the riots, Swarana thought somehow she was defending her religion, while Bandhu attacked pastors and forced Christians to run for their lives into nearby jungles.
Long after the riots ended, Bandhu’s violent streak — and hard drinking — led to his ruin. Swarana found herself pleading with him to make changes … but he ignored her pleas. He ended up in jail.
Life with Bandhu had been hard for Swarana and their children — but life without him was so much worse. They had no income. The village rejected her.
Swarana even began to believe the Christian God was punishing her for those attacks on believers.
But just recently, Church Planter Bibha happened to meet Swarana, who expected to be rebuffed and insulted. But instead, Bibha spoke kindly to her, and Swarana invited Bibha to her home, where she poured out her heart to her new Christian friend.
That very day, Swarana received Jesus as her Savior. She felt such peace and such hope!
This shocked and angered her neighbors. Gossip about her leaving idol worship flew around the village, and a gang of hardcore fanatics even threatened her if she wouldn’t give up her new-found faith.
But Swarana stood firm for Jesus — and her example touched the hearts of six other women who are now worshipping with her at the church in the next village over!
Even Bandhu, still in jail, is happy with his wife’s decision. He has come to regret the way he persecuted Christians, and he encourages Swarana in her faith. She’s praying he will soon come to know Jesus, too.
Thank you for sharing the love and forgiveness of Jesus with Swarana. Your gift changed her life.