Wednesday, March 09, 2005


By Michael Ireland, Chief Correspondent, ASSIST News Service
RAJASTHAN, INDIA (ANS) -- Pastor Mathew has been preaching the Gospel and planting churches for almost 30 years in Rajasthan, India.One night around midnight recently Mathew called Dr. Joseph Chavady of to report that 10 Hindu fundamentalists interrupted a worship service at the prayer hall and severely beat eight ministry workers.
There were no permanent injuries, but the men were very shaken up, he said.Last week an orthodox priest, who is known in the village for his kindnessto the poor, visited pastor Mathew's house. On the way home, three extremists attacked him from behind with bicycle chains. He was admitted to the hospital with a broken skull and severe head wounds.Shortly after this incident, several Hindu fundamentalists came to pastor Mathew's house when he was absent, and questioned his wife about his whereabouts.This is the first time that persecution has come so close to Mathew's home, even though the Hindu fundamentalist government was ousted a year ago in India.
Pastor Mathew is asking for urgent prayer for protection for him, his family (his wife, one daughter and one son) and all the workers involved. All of these servants of the Lord are putting themselves and their families in extreme danger on day-to-day basis.The vision of the Asia Focus Ministry is to reach the unreached people of Asia with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, through training and supporting native missionaries.The region has one billion people, with more than 4,000 people groups, 17 major languages, and hundreds of dialects. Just about every imaginable religion is represented, with relatively few Christians.