Indian women encounter numerous problems including domestic violence, dowry killings, forced prostitution, etc. If a woman chooses to follow Jesus, penalties could be extreme. Meet Sarita, a faithful Christian woman from central India. She was physically and mentally abused by her husband for over 13 years until he finally left her.
“For 13 years, my husband physically and mentally abused me because of my Christian faith. He finally abandoned me and my children last year in December,” she shares with an Open Doors volunteer in India. Sarita is now a single parent to her two children, 12-year-old daughter Asha and 8-year-old son Ashish. Asha is mentally challenged.
About 16 years ago, Sarita realized Christ’s love and gave her life to God. However, after she completed her studies, she fell in love with a Hindu man named Mohan* and married him. Mohan initially expressed willingness to accept her Christian faith, but after few months of marriage, he began to show his true colors.
“Everything seemed fine until our sixth month of marriage. After that, my husband began physically abusing me. He would come home drunk, beat me and say that my faith was a shame to his family. He would ask me to leave my faith and worship Hindu idols. When I refused he would beat me even more,” Sarita shared.
Sarita could not think of leaving her husband because she had become pregnant and her relatives had abandoned her because of her faith. Mohan continued the physical abuse. As a result, Sarita gave birth to a mentally challenged baby girl.
“My body was always full of bruises, but I continued living with him. I prayed that God would work in his life and change him,” said Sarita with tears in her eyes. Sarita gave birth to a baby boy four years later. Though her baby was healthy this time, her life was becoming more and more unbearable.
“I prayed night and day; it was difficult, but God gave me strength,” she shared. After repeated physical and mental abuse, Mohan left her. He also defamed her publically by publishing a false news report about her in the local newspaper in which he called her a prostitute. She suffered disgrace and complete abandonment.
“In the midst of all these circumstances last year, my daughter fell very ill. She was very close to death. She suffered continued seizures and was admitted to ICU. I had no money to pay the bills. Open Doors came to my rescue and helped me pay the bills,” shares Sarita.
“God never left me alone, not once. Despite my circumstances, I kept sharing about Jesus to my elder sister and mother. They are Christians now.” Her church members also encourage her. “I love Jesus very much,” she continued. “He is all I have, and I am confident He will never leave me.”