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ICOC HotNews Episode: "Suffering for the Name (1): Nalini's Story"
When Nalini, a sister in Chennai, decided to start following Jesus she immediately faced serious persecution from her father. He kicked her out of the house, beat publicly in front of 300 people, handed her to the police, and continued to cause her distress for three years. By God’s grace, she persevered and she shared her story with ICOC HotNews.
Hello. My name is Nalini. I come from Chennai Church of Christ. I was invited to church in 1989. I was an 18-year-old college student then. Before, when I was studying the Bible, I was telling my parents, “I’m going to church.” But my parents never believed because I was a part of an activist movement, a women’s movement, where we used to get all the Hindus and we used to talk about how to protect our Hinduism. I used to go to three temples a week and I had read all the Hindu epics, but as I read the Bible more and more every word Jesus said was touching my heart. I felt it is truth and I cannot deny the truth. Within a period of one week I studied the Bible again and became a disciple.
Then my whole family was very shocked and my father started becoming very angry and very violent. So immediately after the baptism, the same night, my father threw me out of the house and it was raining. I was just sitting and praying. And in the middle of the night my father said, “Ok, come in, but I don’t want to see your face in the morning.”
And then the disciples comforted me and they prayed with me. And they said, “Ok, God will take care…” So after that I went to college in the morning. There my father was standing. Along with him a policeman was there. And as soon as my father saw me coming out of the college he held me by my hair and started beating me up. Almost around 300 people were gathered to watch me. More police came in and then they just dragged me to the police station. And in the police station they were questioning me: “Where are you going? Which church?” And they started shouting. And none of the policemen believed what I said. I said, “I’m going to church. I’m studying the Bible. That’s all I’m doing. I’m not doing anything wrong.” But the police warned me if they find me again going with the church disciples—he said, “I’m going to put you inside.”
And my father was still very angry. The persecution I had for three years, every day: I go to church, come back, I get beaten up. I go to church, come back, I get beaten up. I was locked up. Even praying and reading the Bible—I can’t do it outside. Quickly I have to read the Bible in the bathroom. One time he tore the Bible. Another time he burned the Bible. One Sunday he said, “Ok. I’m not going to give you any money. Then how will you go to church?” So I said, “Ok. I’ll walk.” So I walked for about three hours and I attended the church. So it was very hard, but the church was praying for me intensely and slowly, slowly, the persecution started coming down.
And God was so good. I love God and I feel compared to what Jesus did what I went through is just a fraction. It’s like a mustard seed. I’m just grateful to Jesus because he went through so much for me. In India it’s very hard for the girls to stand up against the family, but today I’m glad I made a decision to stand strong. I got married to a great brother in the church and we both work for HOPE. Of course, I’m grateful to have church disciples who are always there to encourage me and support me. I would like to encourage all the women in the world to stand up for truth. God bless.
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