Five women have been beaten by a man in the Andhra Pradesh region of India while sharing about the love of Jesus in a public marketplace. Amazingly spared, they retreated to safety, thanking God for the honor of suffering for His sake.
The women, all leaders in the Gospel for Asia (GFA)-sponsored Women’s Fellowship ministry, had been sharing with store owners and shoppers when one man demanded to know what they were doing. The assault began with a powerful slap to the face of one woman and continued to the others, one of whom was isolated and surrounded by five men.
“Jesus promised persecuting and hardships,” says Daniel Punnose, vice president of GFA (gfa.org). “These young ladies see it worth facing the beatings in order to share the love of Christ.”
The women, Bansari, Jaladhi, Kuyil, Sunita and Viveka, were beaten on their faces, ears and heads. All report that no bystanders came to their defense during the ordeal and that they miraculously escaped from their multiple attackers and were delivered from further harm.
GFA-sponsored Women’s Fellowships are intentional ministries across South Asia for women reaching women with the love of Christ in cultures where men are severely limited in ministering to women. Local Women’s Fellowships are often nurtured by one of 2,000 GFA-sponsored women missionaries.
Special prayer is requested for the women attacked and for all the women missionaries and leaders of Women’s Fellowships who work in cultures where women endure cultural oppression and degradation.
“When we see young women publicly beaten for the faith, it tells us what the future holds in regards to persecution,” Punnose says. “Things will get worse, but the Lord is faithful in all things.”