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Bridge in India

Officials and police in Tamil Nadu state have ordered ten churches to discontinue services. Hindu militants have compelled state officials and police to issue orders mandating the churches in Coimbatore District to stop conducting worship services unless permission is obtained from a government collector's office, a process that could take several years. Twenty more churches are under threat with similar bans.

Orders against six of the churches were issued on the complaint of members from the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) group, a Hindu nationalist paramilitary organization widely regarded as the parent governance of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party. In another case, orders were issued based on a complaint by the Hanuman Sena group, a relatively new Hindu militant movement.

In their efforts to challenge such complaints, nearly 500 Christians submitted a memorandum demanding protection and appealing for churches to re-open. Despite this urgent call for justice, the police superintendent has refused any support or action, stating that nothing can be done.

In addition to the six previously mentioned churches, another congregation -- an Assemblies of God Church in Thennampalayam -- had been targeted during its Vacation Bible School in the summer of this year. Members of the RSS attacked the church's van while children were being transported, assaulting three young people in the process. Subsequent to the attack, the community's revenue officer forced closure of the church based on a complaint by the RSS, stating that the pastor must secure permission to continue worship services.

This pastor has been leading the church at its present location for more than five years without prior government interference. To learn more about the challenges facing Christians in the various states of India, check this page.

Although the state's authorities and militants are seeking to put an end to the churches' worship gatherings, pray that any plans to hinder our Lord's vitally needed ministry among the people of these communities will be thwarted. In the meantime, may these believers be reminded that their prayers and worshipful praise are not confined to a building; rather, they can come to Him at any time and place in a manner of true worship, which is to seek the Lord "in spirit and in truth" (John 4:23-24). Also pray that the hearts of those in positions of governing authority will be turned toward Him, so that the truth of the Gospel message can succeed in transforming many more lives in this country.

Current Ministry Projects

VOMC VOMC assists persecuted Christians with legal support and rehabilitation assistance, and cares for children of martyrs by providing them with a safe place to be nurtured physical and spiritually. VOMC also partners to equip Christians in India with Biblical training and works to strengthen and support marginalized and persecuted Christian women. Additionally, VOMC helps to provide medical assistance to believers who have faced injuries after being attacked.”

Project Funds: Families of Martyrs, Equipping the Saints, Legal Defense, Relief and Development, Women’s Ministry, Medical Fund

Country Information

Designation
Persecuted

Population
1,339,330,514 (July 2021 est.)

Ethnicity (%)
Indo-Aryan (72), Dravidian (25), Mongoloid and other (3)

Religion (%)
Hinduism (79.8), Muslim (14.2), Christianity (2.3), Sikh (1.7), other (2)

Leader
President Ram Nath Kovind (2017)

Government type
Federal parliamentary republic

Legal system
Based on English common law; separate personal law codes apply to Christians, Hindus and Muslims.

Source: CIA World Factbook

Pray for India

Despite the intimidation and violence that have taken place in many of India's states, may Christians wisely yet unashamedly preach the Gospel. Pray that indigenous Christians and foreign missionaries will minister in ways that do not hint at fraudulent conversions, unmasking the intentions behind the anti-conversion legislation. Intercede for India's leaders, that they may reign with justice and righteousness.

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