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Sunday, December 26, 2004

"A CHRISTMAS BATTLE IN INDIA"


By Rev Isaac Newton Johnson
Founder President – Voice of Christians Evangelical Church
Special to ASSIST News Service

LUDHIANA, NORTH INDIA  (ANS) -- While Christmas season was at it's peak in Ludhiana city, the major industrial town of North India, the Panjabi Evangelical Pastors were at loggerheads with the local administration to get a long approved piece of land for a Christian graveyard in the District of Ludhiana which has a population of more than three million.

A deputation of Panjabi Evangelical Pastors of the Ludhiana District led by Mr. Bachan Masih, President of the United Masihi Dal (Regd.) and myself, the Rev Isaac Newton Johnson, Founder President of Voice of Christians Evangelical Church, Ludhiana, met with Additional Deputy Commissioner Mr. Ajmer Singh at Mini Secretariat, District Courts, Ludhiana on December 14, 2004 in connection with urgent allotment of land for Christian graveyard in Ludhiana District and presented our memorandum to him. (Pictured: From left, the Rev Isaac Newton Johnson and Bachan Masih giving memorandum to Additional Deputy Commissioner Mr. Ajmer Singh in his office at Mini Secretariat, District Courts, Ludhiana, India).

The Voice of Christians Evangelical Church and United Masihi Dal (Regd.), Ludhiana has been instrumental since 2000 to educate and bring awareness amongst local Panjabi Evangelical Pastors to come with one platform and demand land from the local government authorities for the Christian graveyard, which we believe is our constitutional and fundamental right and need of the hour. These Panjabi Pastors are working in nearby villages and remote areas of Ludhiana District by faith, amongst the poorest of poor people in the harsh winter of January and February and extreme heat of June and July months without any Church support. There is an acute shortage of a Christian graveyards in the Ludhiana District which has rapidly been expanded in the radius of more than twenty kilometers around. There is only one (more than a century old) graveyard with the Kalvari Church (Church of North India) situated in the heart of Ludhiana city. This graveyard is almost completely occupied, and has just a small space has left for funerals.

On March 11, 2002, due to the persistent persuasion and representations of the United Masihi Dal (Regd.) and the Voice of Christians Evangelical Church, the then Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana had very kindly consented and ordered the allotment of land for graveyard to the Ludhiana Christian community and marked the file for further action to the concerned officials in his office. But more than two and half years have passed, and land for the graveyard has yet not been allotted to the Christians despite repeated visits by Mr. Bachan Masih and Rev Isaac Newton Johnson to the local government offices. (Pictured: The deputation of Ludhiana Evangelical Panjabi Pastors led by Rev Isaac Newton Johnson (Centre) and Mr. Bachan Masih on his right protesting outside Deputy Commissioner’s Office, Mini Secretariat, District Courts, Ludhiana, India on December 14, 2004.)

The Additional Deputy Commissioner Mr. Ajmer Singh has very kindly listened to the grievances of the Panjabi Pastors and assured that he will bring in the notice of The Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana the long pending genuine demand of Ludhiana Christians for the allotment of graveyard land and will try his all level best to implement it as early as possible. He even allowed me to pray in his office for the wellbeing of the whole city and the nation as well.

The Ludhiana city of Panjab State is a major industrial hub in North India and fairly and widely known as Manchester of  India on the world map. It has now more than a population of three million, and the majority of them are poor laborers from nearby states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and other states of India. They have migrated to this industrial city to find jobs in local factories and fields. Apart from them there are thousands of poor Nepalis from the neighboring country of Nepal, who work mainly as watchmen in the city. The Christian population is little over fifteen hundred thousand. Though Ludhiana is the richest city of North India, but the majority of Panjabi  Pastors and Evangelists  are  poor, having no Church support and working by faith.

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Rev Isaac Newton Johnson is an Indian Evangelist since 1976 working with non-Christian brothers in North India. He is international media missionary and Christian speaker. He has been invited by SungKwang Presbyterian Church, Guri, Seoul, South Korea in June-July, 2004 as Guest Speaker from India. He preached in Indian, Pakistani, Nepali and Korean brothers there. Five brothers and one sister of Indian origin accepted Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and baptized during his ministry in South Korea. He has founded “Voice of Christians Evangelical Church” at Ludhiana, India in 1999 (A House Church) working among poorest of poor people, imparting education to them and sharing the good news of Lord Jesus Christ. (Pictured: Rev Isaac Newton Johnson being honored in SungKwang Presbyterian Church, Guri, Seoul, South Korea in June 2004). He needs committed prayer partners and Church ministry supporters around the world to proclaim the Gospel in India and to the end of the earth.

Rev Isaac preaches in English, Hindi, Panjabi and Urdu languages simultaneously without interpreter.


He can be contacted at: isaacnewtonjohnson@yahoo.co.in
Website: www.voiceofchristiansministries.org 


 
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