India (GFA/MNN) ― A mass religious gathering taking place February 9-13 is causing growing apprehension among Christians living in Madhya Pradesh state.
MNN and Compass Direct first reported this story in May 2010. At that time, Hindu nationalists promised to launch a "religious cleansing" of the Christians living in this area in advance of the Narmada Samajik Kumbh.
At least a million people are expected to attend the homecoming festival that takes place on the Narmada, a river that flows through Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat.
The risk of violence against Christians in the area is high. Already, there are reports of plans for forced conversions of local Christians to Hinduism. Reports indicate that the area is heavily saturated with anti-Christian propaganda.
There is an anti-conversion law on the books in Madhya Pradesh; however, it will be interesting to see if it will be enforced on behalf of the believers who are being targeted during the festival.
According to Gospel For Asia, the believers and pastors struggle with mixed emotions over the intended plans. Some fear they will be harassed, beaten and maybe killed, while others have gathered courage in the Lord to continue sharing the Good News and love of Christ with the people.
Prayer is needed. Pray for the safety of the Christians and that they will stand firm in the Lord and His promises. Pray also that the religious gathering will not affect Gospel for Asia-supported ministries, but that the missionaries will be a strong witness for Christ and reach many who are lost.