Church planter, church leaders kidnapped in India

By Michael Ireland
ASSIST News Service

LACANADA, CA (ANS) — A staff-member and two church leaders from a California-based church planting ministry have been captured in western India.

Over this past weekend an Empart church planter and two church leaders were taken by force on their way to an evangelistic outreach event. The name of the kidnapper is withheld for security reasons.

Empart (www.empart.org) transforms communities by training local people to start local churches in the local community. The ministry is focused on empowering the local believers to take up the work of reaching their own people. The ministry says this is the most effective and efficient use of training, time and money.

According to the ministry, the kidnapping occurred in the Udaipur Region, Rajasthan, India in an area dominated by militant Naxalites – a Maoist party considered to be the most dangerous terrorist organization in India. Many people suspect that the Naxalites were responsible for the abductions.

“At this stage, we do not know who took them or what their demands are. Local witnesses were unable to identify the perpetrators as their faces were covered,” said Jeff Cannon, US director if Empart USA.

“While this is a serious situation, we serve a mighty God who is able to do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:19-21), ” Cannon said in an e-mail to ANS.

Cannon added: “This is the first time any of our workers have been kidnapped. Please also pray for God’s divine wisdom and direction for Jossy Chacko and the Indian leaders.”

Cannon asked that concerned believers join the ministry in prayer for their safety, protection and for God’s comfort, and peace to rest with their terrified families until their safe return.

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