Persecution in the Heart of Peru

Rachel Chimits

A widows ministry in South America has become evangelistic and is now starting to experience pushback from the community. Read their story here!

In February, World Challenge announced its new widows program in Peru, a country steeped in local animalistic traditions and Catholic rituals. Thousands upon thousands of tourists travel to Peru every year to seek enlightenment or a mystical experience. For the dear women involved in this program, their spiritual journey was about to take a very different route.

Every Thursday, local widows would meet together with Bible instructors, World Challenge’s partners, to learn about Jesus and share a meal. The focus of this ministry began with helping these ladies come to know Christ and obey him, but it soon turned evangelistic as the widows began inviting family to come and learn about Christ as well.

The passion of their newfound faith, though, would soon be harshly tested.

The Voice of the Widow

Several of the widows wanted to be baptized, a public declaration of faith and new life that would signal to the whole community their new allegiances.

When local leaders caught wind of these plans, they were outraged. They began to protest the meetings and wanted to dissolve the widows ministry altogether. “The leaders of the community were worried about losing their culture,” one of the church leaders explained. “Their reasoning was that what they were learning about the LORD is contrary to many of the beliefs and traditions.”

The church and ministry leaders decided to meet with the community leaders who were upset and protesting. Several widows also attended and defended the ministry before the community.

One partner explained the result. “They said it was unjust to kick us out because we were doing so much good and had done nothing wrong. They said that they wanted the ministry to be able to continue because they have been helped so much by the ministry. They persuaded the community to allow the widows ministry to continue.

“Praise God for the strength and determination of these widows to voice their support for the Lord!”

Praying for the Persecuted

Please join us in praying for the widows and the ministry serving them in Peru. The work in their lives has only just begun, and we don’t want it to be smothered by fear of isolation or rejection from their community or children. Our ministry partners and the ladies involved have been receiving threats that they could be kicked out of the community.

According to the Joshua Project, evangelical Christianity is growing in Peru at almost double the global rate, but this has also made some people feel threatened as believers divide muddled religious ceremonies and a real, transformative relationship with God.

Please pray for the Lord to continue transforming these sweet ladies’ hearts and minds. Join us in praying for spiritual protection for the ministry leaders and for their entire community to be redeemed.