Persecution in India

Written by | December, 2014
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From the Field Dec. 26, ’14

Having just celebrated His birth, let us take note of the opposition to the proclamation of this great good news. Let us pray the Word of the Lord speeds on and triumphs in the hearts of more people.

In a Dec. 18th ‘Washington Post’ article,

“Christian Enclave In India Fears Violence As Hindus Press For Conversions

A resident surveys the damage after a fire inside St. Sebastian Church in New Delhi on Dec. 2. Hundreds of Christians took to the streets to protest what they said was a deliberate attack…By Annie Gowen December 18 at 3:30 AM

ALIGARH, India — The trouble started a few months ago, when Hindu nationalists swept into a small village where several families had converted to Christianity more than a decade earlier. They held a fire purification ceremony with the villagers, tore a cross off the local church and put up a poster of the god Shiva. The space was now a temple, they declared.

Then right-wing Hindu groups announced a Christmas Day ceremony where they planned to welcome hundreds of Christians and Muslims into Hinduism. A fundraising flier solicited donations for volunteers to undergo conversion — about $3,200 for each Christian and about $8,000 for each Muslim.

After a nationwide furor, organizers on Tuesday postponed the ceremony. But one of them, Rajeshwar Singh Solanki, said in an interview Thursday that his group will demonstrate against any church baptisms performed on the holiday. He said his group’s ultimate aim is to ensure that Islam and Christianity “cease to exist” in India.”

I have been going to India for over thirty years and lived there for eight of those years. Our two missionaries there are also in the know about the persecution of Christians. In the villages there are persecutions that go on. In present day Odisha State (formerly Orissa) there was a horrible persecution some years back with the murder of even pastors and the forceful conversions. Now the people of that area have peace and some who were threatened and converted have returned to the Christian churches. The RSS and other Hindu radical groups are involved in this persecution. Investigate what they say about Hindutva, India for the Hindus. There is no question that politics and nationalism also interplay with persecution of Christians. We thank the Lord that under the leadership of the BELC we have a part in work in Odisha State with outreach. We have had reports from the CLCI as well as the BELC of persecutions in various villages.

It is true that Hinduism has been an amorphous thing absorbing down through the centuries the village gods. They have treated Christ as one of the gods. India is a large and populous country with many things going on at the same time, peaceful coexistence in some places and persecution in others.

Our Lord has alerted us, “They will deliver you up to tribulation, and put you to death; and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake…But he who endures to the end will be saved. And this Gospel of the kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world…” Mt. 24:9-14 Pray for our brothers and sisters in India and for more to be added to their numbers.