India (MNN) ― Kashmir leaders have roundly condemned the 'Friendship train' bombings that killed 68 people three days ago. Twin blasts hit Samjhauta "peace train" near Panipat in the northern Indian state of Haryana.
Terrorists are accused of blowing up the train to create tension between India and Pakistan. Yet oddly, that could unite the former adversaries and push them toward peace. There is talk of India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visiting Islamabad soon. That trip that was put on indefinite hold after serial bomb blasts on trains in Mumbai last July killed close to 200 people and injured more than 300.
Attention is focusing on a resolution through the conflict. Indeed, some government officials believe the only way forward is through the conflict. There appears to be some movement toward long-term solution talks. An India-Pakistan anti-terror panel created last year to address such issues was scheduled to meet in Islamabad next month.
However, Operation Mobilization's Sam Paul says that's made a tough situation even worse for their teams. "It's very difficult to do any missionary work in the Kashmir area. It gets tough for both the Indian missionaries and the foreign missionaries. [There's] Not much Christian activity, because the government is taking care of the terrorism that is on the ground."
Travel is becoming increasingly difficult. In the best case scenario, it is still possible to get around. India ordered high security for all Pakistan-bound trains and buses. India's state-run railways, which employ nine million people, will soon introduce "airport-style" check-ins and stringent baggage handling.
However, there are often other problems that arise when the government is specifically targeting anti-Indian movements or terrorists. Sometimes the definition of who they're looking for is painted with too broad a stroke, and Christians find themselves being singled out.
Paul urges prayer for missionaries in India facing similar circumstances. "Pray that the country would continue to be open to the Gospel and we also think of several states in north India where anti-conversion laws are being enacted. These laws terrorize the Christian community. Pray that there will be wisdom to those that are in these particular states."