Religious freedom should be the right of everyone in the world but unfortunately it is not. We have immense freedom in America despite religious differences. Here, we are free to worship and practice our faith, so it’s easy to forget that around the world there are Christians living in countries hostile to their faith. India is one of these countries and Lalan Yadav is one of these who have been persecuted because of his association with followers of Jesus and his response and actions that have resulted from his growing faith.
Lalan Yadav was recently beaten by three men and harassed by a mob of twenty-five. Why? He would not abandon his faith to please the people and the religious traditions of his country.
Yadav is forty-five, working as a driver with ServLife in India, helping the Children’s Home there. When he started working ServLife, he was a practicing Hindu and came from a strong Hindu family. Over the years he has been working with ServLife, he has slowly been drawn closer to Christ, as he has witnessed faith in action through the work ServLife is doing there.
Lalan decided to respond to the growing faith in his heart and his actions stood out amongst his family and community when he refused to participate in Durga Hindu festival, sparking the interest of the mob that beat him. Not only is this a man who is questioning his traditions and continuing to work for and associate himself with people following Jesus, but he is willing to stand up against those traditions as an example to his family and his Christian friends. He was a witness to his four children and family members and showed them what faith in action looks like.
Yadav suffered the consequence of his choice – cuts and bruises, easily treated at the local clinic. His choice was worth it, though. The eternal reward is great for those willing to take a stand against those things that don’t line up with Christ. His witness in his community has increased with his willingness to publicly confess his faith. Religious persecution does not just happen in Bible stories; it is a reality in the world today. Remember to pray for the Christians facing religious persecution and pray for Yadav and his family as he continues to walk in his growing faith and face the strong Hindu opposition that surrounds him.