Week Two: Lenten Reflections on Religious Freedom

"He rescues, and he saves; he performs signs and wonders in the heavens and on the earth. He has rescued Daniel from the power of the lions."

Daniel 6:27

The story of Daniel is one of the most iconic and inspiring narratives in the Bible. When Daniel's enemies plotted against him and he was thrown into the lion's den, he did not succumb to fear or despair. Instead, he trusted in God's deliverance, knowing that His power was greater than any earthly threat. Similarly, our friend Balwinder (name changed) from Punjab faced a trial and attack for his faith.

Once an alcoholic, Balwinder found deliverance from addiction through prayer and made a steadfast commitment to follow Christ wholeheartedly. Despite not receiving formal training from a Bible school, he started a Gospel tract distribution ministry and even planted two house churches.

On September 15, 2022, Balwinder offered a Gospel tract to a passenger, who graciously accepted it. The next day, the same passenger requested Balwinder’s taxi services again. Angered by Balwinder’s faith, the passenger had secretly prepared an ambush. While in the taxi, the passenger directed Balwinder to a by-lane near a resort, where three unidentified men stopped and attacked him with knives, stabbing Balwinder twice in his stomach and once in his shoulders.

Balwinder prayed to God for help and managed to escape. He drove to the nearest police station in his blood-soaked clothes. After giving a statement, he was escorted to a hospital by the police, where he underwent immediate surgery and received 30 stitches. With the intervention of ADF India allies, the police apprehended and charged the three assailants with attempted murder.

"It was a terrifying ordeal. I am still shocked that someone would orchestrate such elaborate plans against me simply because I shared a gospel tract with them,” said Balwinder. “However, with God and ADF India standing by my side, I am emboldened to continue serving the Lord."
1. Consider how Daniel's deliverance from the lion's den served as a powerful testimony of God's faithfulness. How can Balwinder's testimony of God's protection and deliverance inspire us to share our own stories of faith with others?

2. How can legal intervention and advocacy help protect the rights of individuals like Balwinder who are targeted for their faith?
Heavenly Father, we thank You for the examples of faith and courage demonstrated by Daniel and Balwinder. Give us the strength to stand firm in our faith, even in the face of persecution and adversity. May we trust in Your provision and protection, knowing that You are always with us. In Jesus' name, Amen.
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