Mission: India 2023
‘Blinded by the devil’
A Hindu promotion for Raksha Bandhan. Putting a happy face on evil.
The sister in Christ in ministry partner Rohit Mattoo’s fellowship was living in a rented room with her small son and daughter. Until the owner forced them to move out.
She could not afford to rent another room or house, but an older woman in a nearby village in the Indian mountain state of Himachal Pradesh offered her a place to stay – for free. The woman owned a big house with no one living there, and she wanted some company.
Except the woman wasn’t really alone.
“One day a cobra snake was seen in the house and the sister got scared and she informed the lady owner,” Rohit told me. “To her surprise, the lady owner said that the cobra snake is her brother.”
She explained: During the Hindu festival Raksha Bandhan a sister ties a thick thread around the wrist of her brother and he, in turn, promises to protect her from evil. But the woman’s brother had left the family. She had no one to protect her during this so-called “festival of love between brother and sister.”
The family was worshiping a snake god, so she tied the thread around a cobra and declared it her brother. “Since then, the snake is in her home,” Rohit said. The cobra is family; it was even on the altar with her when she married.
“Whenever she goes anywhere, she doesn’t lock her home,” Rohit said. “Her snake protects her property. Even her son (now an adult) called the snake his uncle.”
Rohit, who has ministered in this Hindu country since the late 1990s, was stunned by this story.
“People are blinded by the devil,” he said, quoting Jude 1:23. “Evil spirits have trapped the people everywhere. We are in spiritual warfare. We need your prayers. We want to see people delivered.”
The spiritual battle is real – and physical. Persecution is on the rise in India. Open Doors ministry, which serves the persecuted, calls it “record-high violence against Christians” – “an average of 73 Christians a day are abused for their faith.”
Hinduism is not a religion of love, despite what yoga-practicing, karma-embracing people outside India might think or claim. Voice of the Martyrs (VOM) referred to Hinduism as “easily among the most oppressive and restrictive social constructs ever devised.”
Hinduism is rooted in the caste system, which traps people at birth within a particular tier of society. There is no hope or means of changing their fate.
Unless they meet Jesus.
India is the largest Hindu country in the world with more than 80 percent of its 1.4 billion people born into this religion. They are continually striving and sacrificing “to appease wrathful gods and goddesses,” VOM stated.
“This is the situation in Himachal Pradesh,” Rohit said about that northern India state in the western Himalayas. “There are many people who worship their snake god. Himachal Pradesh needs Jesus as its Savior. We are praying for it.”
We are praying for Rohit’s ministry. Climbing For Christ has been helping him locate a permanent “House of Prayer” since losing the space his fellowship had rented since 1999. Our hope is to visit and dedicate this house of worship during Mission: India 2023. Our inaugural expedition is tentatively scheduled for June 2023.
Email info@ClimbingForChrist.org for a mission application. Missions are for C4C members only. You can join Climbing For Christ at Membership Application (climbingforchrist.org)