Open Doors is fighting against Christian persecution in India by conducting four-day seminars for Christian pastors, leaders, and other believers. This year, Open Doors is planning to hold 10 more seminars in India. A total of 27 seminars have been already held in India over the past three years, influencing numerous Christian leaders in India.
The seminar known as “Standing Strong Through the Storm” is designed to prepare church leaders for persecution since the Bible tells the believers to be ready for persecution and encourage them to remain strong while doing mission.
In India alone approximately 4,000 cases are pending in Indian courts involving attacks against Christians. Joseph R. Pitts, a U.S. Congressman from Pennsylvania, recently returned from a fact-finding trip to India explained of the hostile treatment that Christians receive although India claims as a democratic government:
“Christians in India are a minority group easily targeted and exploited. We are very concerned about the rise of extremism, whether it’s Islam, Hindu or Buddhist," he said, "We heard testimonies about ‘anti-conversion’ laws, which basically are taking away the peoples’ religious freedom. This is contrary to what democracy stands for.”
Dr. Carl Moeller, president of Open Doors USA, said: "Nearly 50 years experience in ministry with the persecuted church has given Open Doors a unique perspective on what it means for Christians to face and live under religious persecution. Our ‘Standing Strong Through the Storm’ seminars share the experiences of others who have undergone similar conditions and have survived. The Bible has much to say about suffering. Biblical principles combined with real-life stories of contemporary believers bring a great deal of encouragement to Christians facing persecution for the first time.”
During the seminar, Christians are given an opportunity to share their testimonies. Many people receive grace and strength during this time. Suresh from Gujarat State, where most persecution happens, expressed his gratitude for allowing him to share his own experiences. “The seminar has been timely for my situation and it is good that I could come here for fellowship and encouragement. It does not trouble me that I had to drive for one full day to get here. It is worth the effort. I was feeling alone and hopeless but you have given me hope and assurance.”
Another church leader, Kim, shared, “The Lord took me to Gujarat to be a witness for Him. I eventually have become a daughter to the villagers where I live for Jesus. Troubles come and they will increase, I know, but I am better equipped after this seminar.”