(Reading time: 1 - 2 minutes)
A church in India behind a protective fence with barbed wire.
Pray that Christians in India will be free to share the Gospel.
Photo: VOMC

Four Christians, including two pastors, were jailed on false charges of conversion activities in Madhya Pradesh's Betul district on February 19th. According to the complaint, Raju Bhalavi and his wife Ruth had thrown a "mutton party" in their home village of Udama. Denny Paul and Cybus Ivne, who had been visiting from the neighbouring state of Maharashtra, were among the guests.

During the party, the accused believers allegedly spoke against both Hinduism and local tribal beliefs. Police officers arrived at the gathering and took seven Christians to the police station. When a local Christian leader went to the station to intervene, he received death threats from members of the police, as well as a group of protestors who had gathered outside the building.

The four mentioned believers have been charged on accusations of "deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs." The authorities have confiscated Bibles and other Christian literature as evidence. Four other Christians in the state faced similar charges five months ago and spent 15 days in jail before being released on bail. This type of complaint against Christians has escalated since the government of Madhya Pradesh instituted anti-conversion laws in January 2021. For more information on the persecution of Christians in India, go to our country report.

Pray that the truth will prevail in this most recent case against the followers of Jesus who are presently being imprisoned due to false allegations. Ask the Lord to continue making His presence known in and through the lives of these persecuted believers. As Christians in Madhya Pradesh seek to navigate the restrictions established by the oppressive anti-conversion legislation, please pray that they will continue to wisely and fearlessly preach the Gospel.

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.

end

Select a Region

India News

  • Pastoral Couple Arrested Due to ''Forcible Conversion'' Allegations
    Hands clasped in prayer, resting on an open Bible
    God's Word will not return void.

    Karnataka became the latest Indian state to officially pass anti-conversion legislation after the state's governor signed the law into effect on May 17th. On that same day, members of the Hindu nationalist group Bajrang Dal filed a complaint against Pastor V. Kuriyac

    ...
  • Inaction Against Accused Police Officer
    Burned church
    Burned remnants of the church.
    Photo: Christian Solidarity Worldwide

    On February 5th, the thatched-roof building where Christians in Kistaram, Chhattisgarh, used to gather for worship had been burned to the ground. Investigations suggest that an opposing local police officer named Bhavesh Shinde was

    ...
  • Pastor Tortured in Police Custody
    A group of believers listening to a speaker
    Pray for wisdom as pastors faithfully share God’s Word.
    Photo: VOMC

    On April 16th, a Christian pastor was arrested in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh under false charges of conversion activities. The pastor and his family were visiting relatives in the village of Anamouh Anam and, as part

    ...