In 2014, 23-year-old Reeta* accepted Jesus in India, leaving behind her Hindu roots. Immediately, the persecution began. Reeta’s family came against her, opposing her when she went to church and weekly prayer meetings. Her mother and brother even frequently abused and tortured her. But Reeta stalwartly stood her ground.
Earlier this year, Reeta had to move to another city for her new job. A month later, her family called, saying her mother was ill. She must return home they said. But when she arrived, she found her mother healthy and soon learned that she had been called home for a forced marriage to a Hindu man.
Expressing her desire to marry a Christian man, Reeta refused the marriage but not without consequences. Outraged, her brother brutally beat her, fracturing the fingers in her right hand. In desperation, she contacted a Christian friend. Her friend reached out to Open Doors ministry partners to let them know about the situation.
Thankfully, Reeta escaped to another city. After a few days, the police came looking for her (her parents had reported her missing). When they questioned her, she told them her family was forcing her into marriage. From there, she was sent to the city’s Women’s Protection Center, until her parents arrived to bring her home. At home, she was isolated, not allowed to see anyone.
Once again, Reeta reached out to the police, this time filing a complaint explaining how her parents were forcing her to marry against her will. Praise God! The police intervened and warned her family members not to interfere.
Eventually, Reeta’s family allowed her to return to the city where her new job was and work. Open Doors partners continue to visit and encourage this young woman is who is standing boldly for Jesus in the midst of violent persecution.
Unfortunately, Reeta’s story is not all that unique for young Christian women in India and beyond who convert from other religions. Take a moment to write a letter of encouragement to woman like Reeta. Let them know they are not forgotten.
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Thank you for your heart for our persecuted family.
One church. One family.