Stories

Persecuted Christians Expelled from Village

Mela was the daughter of a priest who loved her dearly—and was determined that she would become a religious leader among the village’s women someday. He raised her to follow many gods and goddesses, each of them said to protect various aspects of life. Mela was obedient and humble, following in her father’s footsteps for years.

While learning many rituals from her dad, Mela also picked up on the importance of cleanliness at the temple. So, years later when she became a wife and mother, she maintained her own home in a very neat and clean manner. Cleanliness was just about equal to godliness in Mela’s mind.

This was such a strong value that Mela began to visit other homes to learn how neighbors kept their houses clean. And in the process, she met many local Christians. They were noticeably different from the other neighbors Mela visited, and her curiosity shifted from cleanliness to the Gospel.

One day, she decided to visit a local prayer group to see how the Christians worshipped Jesus. She became so fascinated with their faith that she completely turned her attention to the Bible and started telling her husband about what she was learning.

When Mela’s dad found out, he was so against the idea of his daughter interacting with Christians that he reported her to the village leaders. But Mela couldn’t be stopped. In fact, she soon met Church Planter Mukai, and their conversations strengthened her growing faith.

Fearing her actions would damage his reputation as a priest, Mela’s dad reported her again. This time, Mela, her husband, and her children were expelled from the village. The authorities announced that no one in the village was to communicate with Mela’s family until they renounced their faith in Christ.

Unwilling to give up Jesus, Mela and her family took refuge in a hut in a nearby paddy field. During this time, Mukai and other Christians prayed fervently and encouraged the family through their struggles.

Some of the believers even took action by making requests to the village leaders, asking them to allow the family’s return. The requests were denied at first, but eventually, all of the Christian families in the community had come together in support of Mela. When the authorities received plea after plea on Mela’s behalf, they finally gave in: Mela and her family were allowed to come home!

They were given one condition, though: The authorities insisted that they keep their faith to themselves and not share it with others.

Mela and her husband remain strong believers and are working to rebuild their lives after the chaos they’ve faced. They are working hard in the paddy fields for income while their children go to school, seeking ways to continue honoring Christ in the best ways they can.

Will you pray?…

  • For the continued safety of Mela, her family, and the other local believers
  • For hearts to be softened among village leaders and Mela’s father
  • That the entire village is transformed by the love of Christ as people witness Mela’s bold faith