Like Akash, this boy is being trained to be a temple priest of the traditional religion of his ancestors.

A temple priest like Akash would often worship and perform rituals at a temple like this one.

Although persecution is common in South Asia, many believers, like this couple, stay firm in their faith despite opposition.

Believers in South Asia are often persecuted for their decision to follow Jesus, but many are staying strong and holding firm to their faith. Despite opposition and threats on their families, these believers are choosing to trust Jesus even in the face of fear.

New Believer Holds Firm to Her Faith
A Gospel for Asia-supported missionary, Padmesh Chopra, risked his life to share the Gospel with a woman in one South Asian village. After hearing the Good News, this woman, Gajra Dutta, and her family chose to follow Jesus.

As is the case for many new believers in South Asia, Gajra’s decision to follow Jesus was not easy; it brought her many troubles. Her fellow villagers began persecuting her by keeping her trapped in the village and preventing her from working. One day they pressured her more than usual to accept their traditional religion, but instead of giving in she held firmly to her faith. They threatened to excommunicate her from the village if she continued to believe in Jesus.

Later, when Padmesh returned to Gajra’s village to share the Good News again, the police stopped him to ask about his relationship with Gajra. During his visit, Padmesh also received opposition from the villagers. They threatened to cut off his head or hang him if he continued to share the Gospel in the village.

Gajra asks for prayer that God will change the hearts of those in her village. Also, pray that she will speak boldly and witness for the Lord throughout her life, continuing to stay firm in her faith.

Tempted and Tried, but He Will Not Turn Back
After the villagers found out that Akash Pillai gave his life to Jesus, they still pressured him to perform the rituals of the gods and goddesses that he used to worship. Akash replied to their requests, “Now I have found Jesus: I will not turn back from Him.”

Before choosing to follow Jesus, Akash was a temple priest. Yet all of his spiritual activities left him feeling empty. He had no peace in his heart. Then he heard the Good News and decided to leave his old ways behind.

Akash used to have trouble sleeping at night and had many struggles at home with his family. Thankfully, a Gospel for Asia Women’s Fellowship team was out sharing the love of Jesus in the area where Akash lived. The women read the Bible to Akash and his family and prayed for them. After praying, he felt tremendous peace, and the disturbances that kept him awake at night gradually went away.

After God blessed him with peace and healing, Akash chose to follow Jesus, and his whole family now regularly attends church. Akash received opposition from those in his village to return to his old religion, but staying strong in his faith, he refused. Over time, however, Akash began to experience disturbances at night like he had before.

Akash would like prayer that he will have complete peace in his life and that his family will be strong in the Lord.