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Man's hands extending from prison bars with handcuffs on his wrists.

A group of pastors in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh is appealing for the release of 30 fellow pastors who are being detained in prisons around the state. According to Pastor Jitendra Singh, General Secretary of the Pastors' Association of Uttar Pradesh, all of the detained church leaders have been falsely charged under the state's anti-conversion legislation which was enacted in February 2021.

"We want justice for the pastors who have been victims of persecution by Hindu nationalists," explained Pastor Singh. The association has also called on the police commissioner of Kanpur city to protect pastors and churches from harassment. The commissioner has assured them that he would take note of their grievances.

Governing leaders in India are facing increasing international pressure to protect the rights of minority groups throughout the country. In a report that was released this past November, the United Nations Human Rights Council specifically addressed its concerns regarding the mounting problems taking place in this South Asian nation. Additional information on the persecution of India's Christians is available at our country report.

Pray that new governmental and judicial measures will be taken to protect the rights of Christians in India. Specifically ask for the rightful vindication of the imprisoned pastors, as well as other believers who have been unjustly charged for reaching out to those in need with the compassion of Christ. While the pastors await release from imprisonment, may they receive God-ordained opportunities to share the eternal hope of the Gospel to fellow prisoners and prison officials alike – adding more names to the Lamb's "Book of Life" (Revelation 21:27; 20:15).

Current Ministry Projects

In addition to providing persecuted Christians legal support and rehabilitation assistance, VOMC cares for children of martyrs by ensuring they have a safe home in which to be nurtured both physically and spiritually. VOMC also partners to equip Christians in India with Biblical training and offers specialized ministry to further strengthen and support marginalized, persecuted Christian women.

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

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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