Alarming Rise in Targeted Attacks

in narendra modi flickr
Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Flickr / Global Panorama (cc)

According to a newly published report, attacks against Christians in India have arisen at an alarming rate. The All India Christian Council recorded an increase of almost 20 percent in attacks against Christians within the year of 2016 alone. The report also indicates that physical violence against believers is up by 40 percent and murders have doubled.

The report titled Atrocities on Christians in India reveals that, on average, an attack has taken place every 40 hours. And the violent occurrences are no longer confined to a few Indian states but have now spread to 23 states. These recorded attacks include church workers being beaten, threatened and/or killed; as well as churches and Christian schools being bombed, torched, vandalized and/or demolished. Reflected in a notable number of these cases were attempts by extremists to force Christians to renounce their faith and convert to Hinduism.

Right-wing Hindu nationalism has been gaining ground politically in the country, particularly since the Bharatiya Janata Party took power in 2014. This especially affects Dalit Hindus who convert to Christianity, even though this group falls outside the caste system. Still classed as "untouchables," they continue to face oppression within Indian society. However, India's caste system today goes beyond Hinduism as it also exists in many of the country's other religions. More about Christian persecution in India is available here.

Ask the Lord to equip His children in India with courage, protection and the tools needed to serve Him in the midst of tremendous opposition and threat -- using their Christian witness to open hearts and minds to the power and truth of the Gospel. As the church exemplifies the love of Christ through consistent compassion and prayer for the very perpetrators of such persecution (Matthew 5:43-48), may there be a major political and spiritual turnaround in the country so that His Spirit of love, peace, joy, kindness, patience...will prevail.

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