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India (MNN) — A church planter in India was recently attacked by anti-Christian extremists during a worship service. The church planter, Jabez*, is a local partner of Mission India.

When police got involved, the attackers managed to have Jabez, his wife, his son, and another church member thrown in jail.

Erik Morsehead with Mission India says, “This is often an issue. Not only do you have this physical violence, but somehow, in some way, even if the Christian is being attacked, they somehow end up in jail.”

Mission India and their Church Planter Training equips local Christian leaders to establish strong faith communities. One benefit of this system is that Church Planters can also encourage and advocate for one another when faced with persecution.

“We had our structure fight on behalf of Jabez,” Morsehead says. “Ultimately, we were able to get Jabez, his wife, his son, and the other church member released from jail!

“We had so many people praying. We posted this on Facebook. We had prayer partners internally praying over this. So to see that culminate to the release of those four individuals is an amazing testimony to what God can do.”

Persecution can sometimes hurt church planting efforts in India, especially in rural areas.

However, Morsehead says, “Oftentimes, though, what I’ve seen in our partners is that it emboldens them and it really strengthens their faith. They find different ways and unique ways to continue to share the Gospel in their community despite being outcasted and persecuted for their faith in Jesus.”

Attacks on Christians in India have been on the rise in recent years. India ranks in the top 10 countries with the worst Christian persecution on Open Doors’ World Watch List.

Although Jabez, his wife, his son, and the other church member have been freed for now, they still face future court dates and unknown charges.

Morsehead asks for the Body of Christ to be “praying over Jabez, his family, and his church community. Pray for strength, courage, and wisdom.

“And ultimately, too, be praying for the nation of India as it relates to persecution.”

You can give here to support Mission India’s Church Planters like Jabez and encourage persecuted Indian believers. Just $2,400 provides one year of training for a Church Planter!

Mission India is coming out with a four-day devotional on India’s Persecuted Church. The devotionals will be released daily November 4-7, ending on the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. You can sign up for the devotional series here.

This story first appeared on mnnonline.org