From the Field – India and Persecution – June 28, 2019

Written by | June, 2019
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The following is a recent report on India from the “Voice of the Martyrs”Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is leading a push to make India a purely Hindu nation, just won a second term. Under his first five-year term, Christians experienced an increase in persecution. More believers… were arrested on false charges of “forced conversions.”

Despite increasing persecution, the church in India is experiencing incredible growth. After centuries of Hinduism and its caste system, Indians are hungry for the hope and freedom that come through knowing Jesus Christ.

More than 5 million Hindus are part of the RSS, which has been known to intimidate and even force Christians to convert to Hinduism to return them to “their nation’s Hindu roots.” The RSS has informants living in nearly every village in India. These informants report evangelism activities or the names of Hindus who choose to follow Christ.

The following is from Christian Post after Modi’s recent election.

. How religious minorities have fared under Modi until now

Since Modi was first elected as prime minister, India’s rank as one of the worst persecutors of Christians in the world went up from No. 28 in 2014 to No. 10 this year.

“Since 2014, Hindu extremists have actively promoted hate toward its Christian and Muslim minorities which has led to a tragic escalation of violence,” said David Curry, CEO of Open Doors USA. “So the results of this election — which keeps the same people in power­ — is an absolute tragedy.

“Christians in this region already routinely experience harassment and discrimination in the form of social ostracism, property destruction, hate speech and condemnation of their religious activities. We need the international community to stand up and do more.”

The latest report by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom revealed that “religious freedom conditions in India continued a downward trend” in 2018.

Increased attacks have occurred with the “growth of exclusionary extremist narratives — including, at times, the government’s allowance and encouragement of mob violence against religious minorities — that have facilitated an egregious and ongoing campaign of violence, intimidation, and harassment against non-Hindu and lower-caste Hindu minorities.”

Specific attacks include Hindu lynch mobs, which have perpetrated more than 100 attacks since 2015, resulting in 44 deaths, according to USCIRF. Cows are considered sacred to Hindus and many Muslims have been targeted by mobs for cow slaughter or eating beef.

USCIRF noted that Modi “seldom made statements decrying mob violence, and certain members of his political party have affiliations with Hindu extremist groups and used inflammatory language about religious minorities publicly.”

“Victims of large-scale attacks in recent years have not been granted justice, and reports of new crimes committed against religious minorities were not adequately accounted for or prosecuted.”

U.S. Congress members and church leaders have made several appeals to Modi over the last few years to call for more protection of religious minorities. 

Let us pray for our brethren in India.