A missionary has recounted how a persecuted Christian family in Myanmar became bold witnesses for Christ after they forgave a mob who tried to kill them for their faith.
While Myanmar has drawn international criticism for its persecution of the Muslim Rohingya minority group, Christians also face intense persecution from Buddhist extremists in the country.
The Buddhist-majority nation has been ranked on Open Doors' World Watch List at number 28, with a "very high" Christian persecution rating, according to Mission Network News.
"The persecution that [Christians] face there is different. It's in the form of Buddhism. And I think a lot of times we think of Buddhism as a peaceful religion, but it's very aggressive and violent towards Christians," Greg Kelley, who works with World Mission, explained.
Kelley shared the story of a family that was attacked by a mob shortly after they converted to Christianity. He narrated that a local Buddhist monk was infuriated after learning about their conversion and mobilized a mob of 100 people to surround the family's home.
Apart from the new Christian family, another Christian family was staying with them, so there were four adults and five children in the house at the time of the attack.
"The Buddhist monk and the mob surrounded [the house] with rocks. Some of them were ten pounds — I mean, these were large rocks. And they threw hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of rocks at this home to show their displeasure with them coming to know Christ," Kelley recounted.
The parents protected the children by shielding them and putting metal boxes over their heads. The families survived the attack, although they suffered injuries. When the villagers came to see the home the next day, they found the families emerging out of the home.
"They actually started to communicate with them and they said, 'We forgive you.' And that act, that supernatural gesture of forgiving people who tried to kill you the night before, had four people receive Jesus," Kelley stated.
Kelley said that the families not only held fast to their faith, but also became a bold witness to others when they decided to forgive their attackers.
His organization is working to spread the Gospel in Myanmar by disseminating the audio Bible called "The Treasure."
Buddhist radical monks have been stepping up its campaign against religious minorities in Myanmar. According to Open Doors USA, a group of radical monks known as Ma Ba Tha has successfully helped to introduce four laws for the "Protection of Race and Religion," in an effort to curb conversions and religiously mixed marriages.