Joy and peace are replacing the fear and discord that have, until recently, reigned in this Mengen village.

Social pressure is a powerful tool for getting what you want. Mengen cult leaders know this well and are able to use it to full advantage, Lourens Laureti writes.

The worship service began as a joyous event in the village. Twenty Mengen believers were able to take part in reading through the story of Christ’s last days on earth. Then, just as the reading was finished, a local cult leader showed up, threatening these believers. Soon more unbelievers appeared and were drawn into the conflict, attacking believers and damaging their property.

Rumors began to circulate that more unbelievers would be coming to continue attacks on believers. Lourens shares, “Village elders requested that the police be flown in to help … The guys who caused the trouble hid out in the jungle … The police made every effort, but were unable to find them. The village where we live grew quite empty … Many went and hid in the jungle or slept in their gardens for fear of further trouble.”

It appeared Satan had won. The village was in disarray. Fear and despair reigned.

But God has been at work behind the scenes, Lourens shares. For now, He has brought about a resolution to the conflict and relief from persecution and trials for believers.

The community came together last Sunday and talked. With the encouragement of police, the culprits emerged from their hiding places in the jungle. A village court was called and took place.