Gospel For Asia (GFA) reported yesterday that five GFA native missionaries in India were abducted on July 24 and wrongfully accused of robbery. The organization received news of the abduction following the escape of one of the missionaries.
According to the GFA announcement, native missionaries Lokesh, Yesuraj, Kumar, Anil and Ramesh were abducted and wrongfully accused of robbery in the area of Karnatka, located in Southern India along the Arabian Sea. GFA reports that the missionaries' evangelistic outreach in the area had been experiencing great success and was not unnoticed by religious opposition in the community.
Although the native evangelists twice received threats, they continued sharing their faith. "As their ministry grew, their opposers watched them, looking for an opportunity to hinder their work," GFA reported.
Following a robbery that took place in the community, a group of anti-Christians forcibly abducted the five missionaries, accusing them of committing the robbery. Increasingly, false accusations are being used to harass missionaries in India and Nepal.
The missionaries reportedly suffered beatings, and their Gospel literature was torn up. Fortunately, one of the brothers—Ramesh—managed to escape and relay the news to GFA staff.
"Kindly pray for these brothers," a GFA leader asks, "that no harm will be done to them and that the authorities will come to know the truth."
The population of the Karnataka region consists of 85-percent Hindu, 11-percent Muslim, 2-percent Christian (a decline from almost 3 percent in 1971) an 0.8-percent Jain. GFA reports that many regions of the state are without even one follower of Jesus.
Current GFA ministries in Karnataka include personal evangelism, church planting, Bible schools, ministry to children, primary schools for Dalits, Gospel literature distribution, and radio broadcasts in Kannada, Urdu, Telgu and Tulu