Despite mounting persecution, Christianity is thriving in India as hundreds of Hindus and tribal animists are embracing Jesus Christ, the Gospel Herald reports.
One of the areas where conversion and evangelistic events are taking place is in the jungles of Kandhamal District in eastern India, which used to be "a hotbed of Hindu persecution of Christians," according to the Christian Aid Mission.
Although Hindu fanatics once used these jungles as their killing fields for Christian converts, they remain the sites for evangelistic events, which a local ministry director said have been "wildly successful."
So far, the director's group has held 14 such evangelistic events since last August, with 1,000 to 2,000 attending each one, the Christian Aid Mission says in its latest report.
"By God's grace we are holding evangelistic jungle camps everywhere the violence took place," the director said. "It is God's doing. The violence took place almost everywhere in Kandhamal District. We held a jungle camp at one village church, and in 2008 that church building had been attacked, broken and set on fire, and the believers had fled to the jungle for safety."
The Christian ministry director, who did not give his name for security reason, said thousands of Christian converts regularly gather in the jungle camps to hear the Word of God. "They are happy to accept Jesus as their God and Saviour and to live for Him in the midst of persecution," he said.
The director said true stories about healing and other miracles are convincing more and more Hindus and animists to abandon their old faiths and turn to Jesus Christ instead.
For instance, there is the story of a 53-year-old Hindu woman who put her faith in Christ last year. She was baptised along with her husband earlier this month.
She said being a devout Hindu, she previously hated Christians. However, she was compelled to go to a Christian church to ask for help after she was "completely possessed by an evil spirit," which prompted her to embrace from one religion to another in search of a cure for her sickness and despondency.
She said she was eventually healed in the name of Jesus and now she is "testifying that Jesus is the true and loving God."
The woman said her son also converted to Christianity.
"I was searching for this kind of life, and Jesus gave it to me," she said. "He is the only true and loving God. I am happy now."
The ministry director also recounted the story of another Hindu who had a son with a mental illness. When a pastor prayed for him, the young man began recovering his sanity.
Previously, the Hindu man spent thousands of rupees for his son's treatment, sacrificing many pigs, chickens and goats before many Hindu gods and goddesses. But these did not work, according to the ministry leader.
He said they are planning to take the Hindu's son to a hospital to ensure his "complete healing."
"We are sure that through his healing, the entire village will come to know Christ, the Saviour," the ministry leader said.