Mission leader kidnapped from Bible school in India
Gospel for Asia officials have confirmed that a senior mission leader in India has been abducted by a terrorist group.
On July 23, around 7 p.m., Pastor Ponnachan George was kidnapped by five armed terrorists from the Bible school campus operated by Gospel for Asia in the Karbi Anglong district of Assam, India.
George is reportedly being held in a forest hideout at an unknown location. Death threats have been issued by his captors with demands for an undisclosed ransom amount labeled by GFA officials as “a very large sum.”
Gospel for Asia has sent an E-mail to its supporters urgently soliciting prayer for the safe release of George. The mission agency maintains a policy of non-negotiation with terrorists for money. In similar instances, it has relied solely on prayer and fasting, reporting God bringing about miraculous releases.
“I am reminded in the midst of this critical time that the most important thing we can do is to pray,” said K. P. Yohannan, founder and president of Gospel for Asia.
“As we see in Acts 12, when the Apostle Peter was imprisoned, God’s people prayed, and He answered. Will you please join us in prayer for the release of our beloved Pastor Ponnachan? Please also pray for his wife and their two teenage children, who are waiting and entreating the Lord for his safe return.”
Gospel for Asia is breaking with its usual low-profile policy for the protection of the victim in such cases as the Indian news media begins to report on George’s abduction. With concerns that the attention from national press may further endanger his life, the prayer request is made more urgently.
GFA officials continue to work with the local and central government. Yohannan has also personally sent a special communication to the Prime Minister of India asking for intervention.
George oversees the ministry in the Karbi Anglong region of India, which includes 26 Bridge of Hope centers educating children, three radio broadcasts in the Karbi, Assamese and Kuki languages, a Bible college, more than 200 well-established churches and about 300 missionaries.