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Monday, January 30, 2012

Church Planter and Church Leaders Kidnapped in India

By Michael Ireland
Senior International Correspondent, 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 www.empart.org  Church Planter and two church leaders (names withheld for security reasons) were taken by force on their way to an evangelistic outreach event.

Empart 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, 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.



** Michael Ireland is the Senior International Correspondent for ANS. He is an international British freelance journalist who was formerly a reporter with a London (United Kingdom) newspaper and has been a frequent contributor to UCB UK, a British Christian radio station. While in the UK, Michael traveled to Canada and the United States, Albania,Yugoslavia, Holland, Germany,and Czechoslovakia. He has reported for ANS from Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Israel, Jordan, China,and Russia. Michael's volunteer involvement with ASSIST News Service is a sponsored ministry department -- 'Michael Ireland Media Missionary' (MIMM) -- of A.C.T. International of P.O.Box 1649, Brentwood, TN 37024-1649, at: Artists in Christian Testimony (A.C.T.) International where you can make a donation online under 'Donate' tab, then look for 'Michael Ireland Media Missionary' under 'Donation Category' to support his stated mission of 'Truth Through Christian Journalism.' Michael is a member in good standing of the National Writers Union, Society of Professional Journalists, Religion Newswriters Association, Evangelical Press Association and International Press Association. If you have a news or feature story idea for Michael, please contact him at: ANS Senior International Reporter

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