Joseph Wilson pastors in the nation of India. Recently his church was burnt down by radical Hindus. Today we talk about the persecution the church is facing in the nation of India and about how he is reaching the lost despite the opposition.
Connect with Joseph Wilson on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/joseph.wilson.92372
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (00:00):
Joseph Wilson pastors in the nation of India. Recently, his church was burnt down by radical Hindus. Today we talk about the persecution the church is facing in the nation of India and about how he is reaching the lost despite the opposition.
Evangelism Podcast Host (00:31):
Welcome to the Evangelism Podcast with Dr. Daniel King, where Daniel interviews full-time evangelists, pastors, missionaries and normal everyday Christians to discover how they share their faith, their powerful testimonies and amazing stories that will inspire you to reach people with the good news. And now here’s your host, missionary, and evangelist Daniel King.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (00:55):
Welcome to the Evangelism Podcast. I’m Daniel King and I’m excited about telling people about Jesus. Today I have a very special guest with me, pastor Joseph Wilson from the Nation of India. Thank you for joining me today.
Joseph Wilson (01:08):
Amen. Such a wonderful time that the Lord has given me and I’m so honored, excited to be over here and to be part of this podcast. And I tell you, my life was so much transformed with this man of God and I say one of the reason for me to be where I am today is this man of God has spoken a word over my life.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (01:32):
Amen. Well, how long do you think we’ve known each other? When was the first time that we met? I
Joseph Wilson (01:39):
Have met you in the year 2005.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (01:45):
Wow. So we’ve been friends for a very long time now. It’s
Joseph Wilson (01:48):
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (01:48):
Time and at that time we were doing many gospel festivals in the nation of India. My wife and I have such a great love for India. My wife Jessica actually lived in the nation of India for almost two years, and then I’ve been going and talking to people about Jesus and it’s so amazing the nation of India, 1.2 billion people. It’s a huge nation full of people that need Jesus.
Joseph Wilson (02:22):
Absolutely. And now the recent census of our country says we are with 1.4 plus billion people.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (02:30):
And so India continues to grow.
Joseph Wilson (02:33):
It’s continuing to grow, and as it continues to grow, it is giving us a lot of challenges to reach the people where our nation is needed to.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (02:43):
Now, the first missionary who went to India was the Apostle Thomas.
Joseph Wilson (02:50):
Apostle Thomas. Yes.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (02:51):
The same doubting Thomas who doubted that Jesus came back to life, but after he became convinced of the Jesus’s resurrection, history says that he went to India.
Joseph Wilson (03:04):
He went to the India. Yes, you are right. He came to India and to his amazement, there were so many rituals taking place and there were belief and there were system that was not of God. They were in search of God, but in many different ways. But when Apostle Thomas came, he knew the real God. So he made excitement and then he performed the miracles where the people encountered God first. Ever since then, the kingdom of God is getting established in India,
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (03:38):
And there’s actually many different religions in the nation of India. You are multi religion, multi-ethnic groups. So you have Christianity, you have Islam, you have many, many Hindus, many, many Hindus. You have the Sikh religion, Jainism and many other religions,
Joseph Wilson (04:03):
Many other religion. What amazes us is India is such a huge country with such a big religion aspect. Everyone in India are devotees to God, but they have different religious to teach them. And there’s Hinduism, Muslims, Jainism, Sikhism, and I tell you there are very different groups as well in India with hundreds and thousands, to our amazement, 33 millions of and goddesses our nation. So
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (04:35):
Let’s talk specifically about Christianity because there has been a lot of persecution that has come against religious minorities and in India, Christianity is a minority. Do you know what percentage of India would follow Jesus?
Joseph Wilson (04:55):
The census says that it is closely to 3% out of 1.4 billion people follows Jesus. Now, when I say 3%, I don’t mean that everyone loves Jesus out of this 3%, there are Catholics, there are atheists, there are people who are far away from Jesus, but just a name. Take Christians.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (05:19):
So some of the 3% are only Christians in name only. But there has come a lot of persecution recently against the Christian churches in India. In fact, I was just sitting down a few days ago with one of my friends who is a pastor from Manipur and he was telling me that many of the churches in Manpo have been burned. Even the houses of some of the Christians have been burned and the Christians have had to flee from the cities up into the hills and they’re in hiding.
Joseph Wilson (05:57):
Yes, they are in hiding. This was happening up in the month of May. This is planned way beforehand for the persecution, being honest with you all. There were so many things that happened. The churches were burned, you were right. Many people left the houses and their houses was burned and to management. There were many women who were raped, paraded, naked, and I tell you, there was no words spoken by the government in behalf of them to ask them to be protected. But these riots have taken place and this is making chaos in our nation. Let me tell you, this is not the first time that has happened in the year 2008. There is a state called Ora where the same thing happened and let me be honest, with the same kind of a government which was running the state at that time. So there is on and off persecutions that are happening up. Evidently what I could say is it started with the little, but now it’s getting bigger. Bigger and the worst.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (07:06):
That’s very sad. And it’s not just the churches in Manipur that have been affected by this. You pastor and your church actually was burnt. Tell me what happened.
Joseph Wilson (07:20):
Yes, with the vision of God that I moved from my native town to a new city, which is called Miser, which has 1.3 million people and hardly 120 churches in the entire city. And out of that only 2% of them are Christians and out of 2%, when I say Christian, there are only 0.5 people who believe Jesus, not even 0.5. So God with the vision I have been to the city with the family. We planted a church. Our church is three and a half years old and we pray to God, take us to the people where you want me to serve. And we never knew the city. We don’t know anyone in the city. By faith, we moved as a family and we started a church through a plumber who comes to us. His aunt was with the cancer and that was a good opportunity. He said to me, this is what the conversation, who are you?
Then I said, Hey, I’m a pastor, pastor, what do you do? Then I said, I pray for the people. You left everything to pray for the people. Then I said, yeah, why? Then I said, I would love to see happiness in the life of people. I love to see blessings in the families. That’s why I came. He was amazed. We exchanged our numbers. He goes back after two days he calls me, you said you pray for the people. My aunt is with the cancer. She’s diabetic. She’s on the deathbed. Would you come and pray? I said, I would come. We went there. I tell you, we prayed. She’s still alive. The Lord healed and they took us to three new Hindu families and that’s how the church grew in our house. We began our church at house. As we were growing to 28 people, the neighboring people began to complain against us.
They complained to the police and the men in the families were against us and they wanted to put us in a prison. So the police intervention and the group of people intervention, we were forced to stop our church at home. We stopped our church, we began to zero. Then again, we started the church. That’s what our life is. We are called to reach the people. So we began the church at home again after eight months, and then immediately God helped us to rent a building. We went there. We started the church. As we started again, the Lord started to do signs, wonders, healings. Then the church began to grow. Now I tell you, 80 to 85% of the people who come to our church never heard about Jesus before. They were Hindus. Now as the church was growing, we started our church in February, 2020. Then 2021, July the second. People were so angry against us because they tried to stop us, threaten us, but we were not. We went on to do the church. Finally they did. They burned our church because we were not listening to their threats. They burnt our church. We lost the sound. I tell you, we lost everything. Everything but
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (10:41):
All your musical instruments, the sound system, yes,
Joseph Wilson (10:44):
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (10:46):
Everything was burnt.
Joseph Wilson (10:47):
Everything was burned to the ashes, everything was burnt and the same night the police came. Now that city is new to me. I don’t know anyone. When the police came, I expected them to support me because I was the one who is in loss. But the police, they were more than 20 plus people and they said, who are you? Then I said, I’m Joseph. The response from them were, are you a Christian? Then I said, yes. What are you doing here? Then I said, I have a music class. Then they said, music, no, you are doing something. That’s why people have set fire on you. You have done wrong. That’s why people are upset on you. Now you come to the police, we are going to file a case against you and you need to fight it in the court
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (11:34):
Or And the police, after your church was burnt, they came and said that you are doing something wrong.
Joseph Wilson (11:41):
Absolutely. I was mistreated by the police. They interrogated me for more than three hours.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (11:49):
Wow. It’s really sad because according to the constitution of India, you are supposed to have freedom of religion.
Joseph Wilson (11:58):
Absolutely. The constitution of our nation gives us all the rights to speak. We have a freedom of religion, freedom of speech, but yet because of the power and the abuse, you of power and because of to gain some popularity, people are always throwing stones against Christians.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (12:21):
Wow. So what ended up happening with your church, you had everything burnt, so you had to close down for a little bit, and then what happened?
Joseph Wilson (12:32):
We needed to close down. The police were against us. The people were against us. We lost everything. And the saddest part was they wanted to take me to the prison. But that night I was literally feared, but I saw the invisible hand of God helping and protecting. Then the Lord helped me to come out of that night and the next day the wise thing I did was to leave the city and go to the city where I was born. So I stayed in that city for more than one and a half month away. Then we closed our church after the issue was closed down, I came back. I started to clean the church and began to restore the church. The issue was done, but God intervened in such a way. There was a person whom I came in contact and they spoke to the police officers telling that he’s our guy, so he’s doing good. So because of the political influence and the word that I received, the police were subjective to the command of the authorities, and that is how God led us to come out of that kind of a situation. But they burned the church. It took us five months to restore the church and we closed it. But by God’s grace in December the 2021, we opened the church again, but glory to beat God that we haven’t lost anybody.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (13:57):
Wow. And how many people are attending your church right now? Right
Joseph Wilson (14:01):
Now our church is three and a half years old. We are with 80 people in the church, and I tell you, 30 people, we baptized them and there are more than 80% of the people were Hindus who never knew Jesus before.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (14:18):
Wow. What a great miracle. And I have to commend you for continuing on in what God has called you to do even in the midst of persecution. I know it’s not easy, but one of the things in your testimony that you have shared with me was the impact of one message that I preached many years ago and you heard the message and ever since it has been one of the defining messages of your life. Tell me about that.
Joseph Wilson (14:50):
Absolutely. I cannot leave this program without speaking that word. In fact, before I could say that statement, let me tell about a brief testimony. I was going through terrible times in my life. I never had anybody to support me or to strengthen me or to be a friend. I was going through such a deep down life. I was broken, my soul was broken, my future was blinded, and I failed my education and I was the only son to my parents, huge expectations, and I was growing up. There was no future for me. And there was so many things I tell you, nothing was going my way. Neither nothing was happening. What I was planning to do, everything was chaotic. At that moment of time, I decided to die. I decided to commit suicide because I don’t have future. I don’t have vision, I don’t have anything in my life.
So what I did was when I thought to die myself, one word that changed my life was Jeremiah 29 11. One of my friends sent me a text at the time where I was wanting to commit suicide that says, the Lord has plans to prosper you, to give you a future and a hope. When I read that s I felt peace in my heart, and that’s the time I saw new things beginning to happen. Right after that transformation, I come to a crusade in 2007, November the 11th. I still remember November the 11th, and there were more than 500 people in the auditorium. You were speaking in a conference. I was sitting on the tro. You were speaking about obeyed Iam. You were speaking about his origin. It was so great. Yeah.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (16:55):
So Obed Edam is an obscure Bible character, but his story will change your story and it’s one of the messages I love to preach. In fact, I wrote a book about it called The Secret of Obed Edem, and he was the guy that was living beside the road, which led to Jerusalem. And one day, king David decided to bring the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem. And so they passed in front of the house of Obed Edam and a tragedy happened. A man fell over dead when he touched the ark. And so King David said, forget about taking the arc to Jerusalem, put it in that house right there. And he pointed to the house of Obed Edam. And so they carried the Ark of the Covenant where the presence of God dwell and they placed it in the living room of Obed Edo. And in first Chronicles 13, it says that the arc of God remained in his house for three months and it says that God blessed his household and everything that he, so when the presence of God came into his house, he was blessed.
And so when you invite the presence of God into your house, you’re going to be blessed. But his story does not end there. It’s mentioned seven more times in scripture and he becomes addicted to the presence of God. Edam follows the Ark to Jerusalem and he starts to serve in the house of God. He starts out as a gatekeeper in the temple, then he becomes a heart player in the temple worship group. Then he becomes a leader. His entire family is serving God. And then the last time he’s mentioned, he’s the keeper of the temple Treasury. So we see this great promotion in his life. His story didn’t end at the beginning. He continued on.
Joseph Wilson (18:38):
Yes. And that’s what when us speaking, that was fascinating. My heart got connected to the word, and I still remember as you were preaching intensely bringing the word, you saw me, and this is the turning point of my life. You saw me in the middle of everything you just said, Joseph, stand up. I was shocked. I stood up. And this is the word that you said. Your story has not finished yet.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (19:09):
Your story is not finished yet. Not
Joseph Wilson (19:11):
Finished yet. I was so thrilled the moment I was thinking my story is over, I don’t have any life. That’s the time you said your story is not finished yet. And you said, the way the Lord has blessed, obeyed I, your life will be blessed. Get ready for the promotions. And I tell you, I began my life from that situation. And from then on, I hold it onto that word to that says to me, my story has not finished yet. This is just the beginning. And I tell you today, I still look around myself and say, my story is not finished yet. And thus the way that the Lord blessed my life and for the past 16 years, I’m holding that word which I wanted to die, but that word gave me a life. That word gave me the vision. That word gave me a family. That word gave me future. That word gave me ministry. That word gave me friends. That word gave me such a confidence. Whatever I am doing today, it’s that word that put a foundation for my great faith in Jesus
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (20:23):
Christ. And so even when it was difficult to start a church, even when your neighbors were complaining, even when your church was burned and you lost everything, that prophetic word from the Lord, your story is not finished yet has continued to inspire you and motivate you, and you have to seek after the will of God for your life.
Joseph Wilson (20:50):
Absolutely. That word made such a terrible transformation, I tell you as obey was blessed step by step. And you said to me the same way, Joseph, your life God is going take you step by step. I remember sitting down and I became a worship leader. God started to upgrade me, update me to a translator. And I tell you, I was sitting in this man of God’s crusades and God made me to lead worship for his crusades and also to translate the word of God. So I am the example of how a prophetic word when we receive gets true. And I am very honored that I received it through this man of God. And I am the true example of that word. Your story has not finished yet.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (21:39):
Amen. Well, that is a tremendous prophetic word that I believe will continue to work in your life. Amen. Because Joseph, your story is not finished yet. God has more for you. And I believe that God has more for the nation of India. Let’s talk a little bit more about the persecution that has happened in India. The constitution of India guarantees religious freedom. In Article 25 of the Indian Constitution, it says, all persons are equally entitled to freedom of conscience and the right freely to profess practice and propagate religion. And so that is enshrined in your constitution, constitution. And so India is the largest democracy in the world. They have many elections and they’re supposed to guarantee freedom of religion, but that often has not happened. Often militant Hindus have harassed, they oppress, they attack Christians, and they even make laws restricting the freedom of Christians. They attack churches, they persecute people who would want to convert from one religion to the other. And they even have kicked missionaries out of the country and they have shut the door that anybody who would want to talk about Jesus, they refuse to give them a visa. So in effect, there is not freedom of religion. And so what do you think the church should do in the face of this persecution?
Joseph Wilson (23:29):
This is very much interesting in the face of persecution the churches are really going through. But one observation that I have made as it in the Book of Acts, when such kind of a persecution are going through it is dividing who the real people who are called to serve. There are people who are going back. There are people who are struggling, there are people who are giving up, but there are people who are marching forward to do what God has called to do. Now among all these persecution, definitely every tongue in India are praying for God for miracles to happen. Now, one thing that persecutions are happening up is, I’m sorry to say, because of the government, because they back up the people, the vanity groups, because of their political gain, they use the groups to attack the church and they want to win the elections or be in power in the name of religion. So that’s the biggest optical the church is facing. But among these things, it’s very hard to confine our growth only to one thing. It’s a challenge. We are accepting in reality about the challenge, but still we are commended to preach the gospel and to reach the people. So that’s the thing that we are doing in spite of all the things what’s happening up around.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (25:06):
And many of the states in India have passed what they call anticon conversion laws. What are those?
Joseph Wilson (25:15):
My state? My state was ruled by the government, which is running the country now. When they were in power, they were so much against the Christians and the churches. They finally brought an anticon conversion bill. Now I need to tell this, this anticon conversion bill is so, so cruel. If I go and share my faith to someone else, if they don’t like it, they can go to the police, file a complaint against me, and I would be put in prison non bailable warrant. I would be in prison for more than seven years.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (26:00):
Just for talking to someone about your faith in Jesus.
Joseph Wilson (26:04):
Absolutely. Now, not only that, if I preach gospel to someone, if they get saved and they come to church, their whole family has the power to go to the police and say, Hey, somebody spoke to my son or my daughter, and they manipulated them so they can go and write a complaint against a pastor or an evangelist and they would be considered and the pastor or the evangelist or the churches would be put in prison. That’s the severeness of the law. We prayed. We prayed. But I tell you, God is so powerful in this year, in the month of May, 2023, the governments got changed. And the first thing the present government of my state has done is they have revoked the law forever.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (26:53):
And so in your state, in which state do you live
Joseph Wilson (26:56):
In? I live in the state of Karnataka. So
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (26:57):
In Karnataka. Now the Anticon conversion law is not on the books? No,
Joseph Wilson (27:04):
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (27:04):
Not on the books. But in some of the other states continues to, some
Joseph Wilson (27:08):
Of states still continue. I tell you, wherever the government is ruling the states, every state which is ruled by this government has been subjected for the Anticon conversion bill. And I tell you, it’s going to be hard if you run a church in a house, it is considered as illegal because you are getting people to your house and converting them. If you run a church in a rented buildings or the hotels, it’s not going to be considered as a church because that is a social gathering place. Now the government is bringing the law.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (27:43):
And then if you own the church, sometimes the churches get burned down.
Joseph Wilson (27:46):
Absolutely. If you own a church, they say, why are you getting people now? They are taking even the census of the church, how many people you have. After a year, they come back again and check the census. If they find out there are more number of people, they’re questioning who are they? How do they come to you? And if they come to church, the believers, they are cutting the access of provisions which are from the government for the poor people. That’s the saddest part. What’s happening up?
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (28:20):
Wow. Well, we need to pray for the Church of India. I think even in the midst of persecution, it just makes the church to grow more and more and more because people will turn away from a hopeless religion to turn towards the hope that is found in Jesus Christ.
Joseph Wilson (28:42):
Absolutely, brother Daniel. We need our nation. Our churches need prayers to back us up. We need more prayers than ever before because we are in more danger than ever before. I say this word because from the politicians, the seed against Christians is now spread all across the nation where everybody are so passionate against the church and to see the end of the church or to see the destruction of church.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (29:17):
Amen. Well, let’s finish by praying for the nation of India. You said that now the population is 1.4 billion people, a huge number of people, many who need to find Jesus Christ, the hope of Jesus, and to have the opportunity to be saved. So would you pray for the nation of India?
Joseph Wilson (29:41):
Absolutely. It’s my joy to pray for our country. We need prayer. We need Jesus. We need the kingdom of God to invade. And there is no greater power and strength than prayer. I would love to pray. Let’s pray. Dear Father, we thank you Lord for your unmerited favor and unconditional love towards us. Father, you are the same yesterday, today and forever. You love us the same. And Lord, we are here praying for our beautiful nation, India with 1.4 billion people. They need you, father. They need your kingdom. And we pray today how mercy on our nation, how your grace upon our nation, Jesus, let your kingdom rule and reign. We pray for all the people who needs to be saved because you shed your blood on the cross of calvary for the remissions of sins of every one. Oh God. And we pray that you would have mercy and grant salvation to our nation.
We pray whatever ways are being made hard to preach the gospel, that you will make a way for us to reach the communities, to reach the people. Lord, open the blind eyes to see you. Open the hearts to receive you. Father, let the word of God shine upon people and let people get saved. We pray for more people to serve you. We pray for the freedom of our religion of God. We pray for the freedom of our speech. We pray, father, that you would make roots to reach the people. And we pray for the politicians. We pray for the leaders. We pray for all the groups who are against your church. God, you transformed soul to Paul and that’s your power, and that’s what we pray. Transform the hard-hearted leaders and the politicians who are against your kingdom, who are against your gospel, and may your kingdom establish. Thank you for your saving grace and saving power. In Jesus’ name we pray, father. Amen.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (32:06):
Amen. Well, brother Joseph, I have a word from God for you. Your story is not finished yet. God has more for you.
Joseph Wilson (32:17):
Amen. I receive this word with joy and gladness, and I begin my journey again with a higher altitude of life telling to myself, my story has not finished yet.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (32:31):
And so we are standing with you in India. We are praying for you in India. And I know that God will give us a great harvest of souls across the great nation of India.
Joseph Wilson (32:44):
Amen. I receive that. We believe that. And also I witness the crusades that you ministered thousands of people. What a joy was it for us to see you sacrificing your place in America, coming over there and preaching the gospel and ministering so many villages which never had Jesus before, never had church before because of you were yes to the Lord. Today. I see as a witness, there are hundreds of churches, thousands of people in the kingdom of God. And that’s what enlightens me, challenges me. When a man of God sacrifice and come to my country to speak. What am I doing? What are we doing? So your life is always an encouragement to me. Influence to me. And I tell you, words fail to describe how much impact you have created in me. One of the reason for me to go to the lost places and the lost people is you looking at the crus. That’s what my life has been in transformed. And here I’m as an example, doing what God has called to do. And that’s why again, I say my story has not finished yet.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (34:01):
Amen. Thank you brother Joseph. Are
Evangelism Podcast Host (34:03):
You called by God to be an evangelist? Do you want to lead millions of people to Jesus? Do you desire to be trained in the practical side of building a ministry? Then check out the Daniel King School of Evangelism. Learn how to be an effective evangelist from Dr. Daniel King’s 20 plus years of experience. Daniel King has done crusades all over the world in over 70 nations and is seen over 2 million people give their lives to Jesus. But it wasn’t easy. There was no crusade school. So Daniel traveled the world learning from and observing top evangelists, noticing how they successfully won souls for Christ. Now he wants to share decades of knowledge and experience with you. Topics of the Daniel King School of Evangelism include what is an evangelist, how to be a master soul winner, how to give antar call, how to organize a crusade, how to raise money for your ministry, and much more. If you want to be an evangelist, but don’t know where to start, the Daniel King School of Evangelism is for you. Enroll today in the School of Evangelism by going to Daniel King ministries.com/evangelism.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (35:05):
Thanks so much for listening today. I am excited about telling people about Jesus, and I want to invite you to be a part of helping us to rescue people from Hell and take them with us to heaven. There’s two things you can do to help. First of all, can you go find the Evangelism podcast on Apple iTunes and leave us a positive review by giving a review. You will help other people find these valuable resources about sharing our faith. And second, would you become a financial partner with King Ministries. Every single dollar that people give us enables us to lead at least one person to Jesus. And so that means for only $1, you can help start a party in heaven. And so today I want to invite you to become a monthly partner. You can start out for just a dollar, but if God puts it on your heart to do more, of course you can do more. But please go to king ministries.com and become a monthly partner with us today to help us to lead more people to Jesus. Thank you so much, and God bless you.
Evangelism Podcast Host (36:25):
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