One of our partners works with the underground church in Kashmir. Here, believers have to vary the day, time and location of their meetings in order to avoid detection. We were privileged to join them one morning, and are delighted to share their stories with you.

Kashmir Garden

Nishat Garden, Dal Lake, Kashmir

Mehdi & Bushra

"In 2013 I (Mehdi) went to Jammu with Bushra and our two sons for Bible training. We were about to go out and witness to people when the police came and arrested me. This all happened whilst Bushra was out on a prayer walk.

"I spent 13 days in custody. While I was locked up, Bushra and some Christian friends knelt down on the road and prayed. We had no vehicle, so somebody sent one to take her back to the centre.

"At one o’clock in the morning some Kashmiri Muslims came to search our home, and burned all of our possessions. We were left with nothing. Bushra and the children didn’t even have enough footwear or clothing for the cold weather. In the middle of all of this, Bushra decided to get baptised, and did so even while I was still in custody!

"Later on, the muftis (Muslim legal experts) came and accused us of taking money to become Christians. They forced us to take new clothes, to bathe, and to be re-married in the Islamic way as part of a forced conversion. Then they sent us back to Kashmir. 

They forced us to take new clothes, to bathe, and to be re-married in the Islamic way as part of a forced conversion

"After this, nobody got in contact with us. We only had fellowship with each other and so we drifted from God over a period of three years.

Kashmir water feature

Nishat Garden, Dal Lake, Kashmir

"Then I became seriously sick, and the doctors said I would have to travel to Delhi if I wanted treatment. I thought I would die. My wife said we should pray, and so I began to sing words from Psalm 51. The doctor then came to run one extra test, and it somehow came back clear!

"I learnt that God will never leave me, and that I should not be discouraged in my faith but keep sharing the gospel. After all of our experiences, Bushra now says 'I am ready for all situations'."

Read more: More stories from the underground church in Kashmir