A heart wrenching story is coming from India where a 12-year-old girl shared how her Hindu family beat her and kicked her out of the house after she received Christ.
Saree, shared her story with persecution watchdog, Open Doors USA, beginning with the time when she was deaf as a child. “I was bullied at school for being deaf,” she said. “They scolded me: ‘You are deaf!’ It made me so sad. We went to the hospital, to Hindu temples and even to people who practiced witchcraft. Nothing helped.”
One of her aunts was a devout Christian who convinced her to go with her to church telling her that she believed in the true God who can heal her. She said the first time she entered the church, “The people were singing songs, and the preacher taught from the Word of God. I heard a little bit of sound, so I could understand a little of what was being said and sung. The songs made me happy.”
After the sermon, the pastor and a few other people prayed for her and then what happened was a complete miracle. “First they called me to the front,” Saree said. “I was a bit afraid and actually wanted to run. But I still went. While they were praying, I could hear sounds. Slowly, the sounds became louder and louder. I also felt something coming to me. It came closer and closer. It was the presence of God. Then the sounds became really clear. I could hear everything. I was incredibly happy.”
Her aunt shared Jesus with her which didn’t go down well with her family members. “Your God is not our God,” Saree’s mother told her aunt. “We are not going to believe in your God. People in your church die too. So we won’t go to that church.” She also warned Saree not to go to church, saying that the villagers would isolate them and they would not be able to buy food or drinks anymore, and that no one would talk to them.
But that did not stop Saree from attending church. She continued attending church without telling her family, but soon her brother came to know. “He and my father beat me and dragged me into the house,” Saree said. “One time, I was carrying a Bible. He took it, threw it into the mud and beat me with a stick. Later I collected the Bible, wiped it clean and gave it to another believer. He kept it safe for me.
She said that this kept on continuing, “Almost every time I went to church, my brother and father beat me,” she continued. “About three months ago, they were fed up with me. My brother and father yelled: ‘If you continue to go to church, we will punish you!’ They beat and kicked me badly. Then they gave me some clothes and pushed me out the door. My father said, ‘You are not our daughter anymore.’”
Bruised and thrown out of her own house, Saree had no option but to flee to a relative’s house which was six miles away. But soon her mother found her out and brought her home to be again beaten by her 22-year-old brother. “Leave Jesus Christ!” he screamed, beating her with a stick and slapping her with his shoes. But she refused and told them, “I won’t leave Jesus.” Afraid of being killed, she fled again and went to her aunt’s place where she’s been for the last few months.
12-year-old, Saree misses her family and her school, she says, “Because of my persecution, I cannot go to school. I also miss my family a lot. I love my family, but they don’t accept me,” she said. “I’ve seen them twice after they kicked me out. I went to see them, but my father doesn’t talk to me. My mother talks a little bit with me, but only my elder sister talks nicely. I didn’t see my brother.”
Saree finds hope in the word of God which says, “God has said that He will never leave nor forsake us,” she said. “He is our healer.” She adds, “I think about the fellowship we have on Sundays. Whenever I feel depressed, I think about fellowship,” she added. “A believer sister told me, ‘Don’t leave Jesus Christ. We are here.’ She encouraged me from the Word of God.”
India needs our prayers as persecution is rising there, let us pray for wisdom for its leaders and politicians. Let us remember millions of our Christian brothers and sisters there who need our prayers and help.