India (MNN) — The Hindu nationalist government in the southern state of Karnataka is planning to introduce an "anti-conversion" law that led to anti-Christian violence in other states. Karnataka recorded the second-highest number of attacks on Christians last year.
Todd Nettleton with Voice of the Martyrs says, "One of the things that this law might possibly require is for someone to stand in front of a magistrate and make the statement, 'I am changing my religion.' That would basically paint a target on that person's back and make him a potential victim of persecution and attacks."
According to Nettleton, many Hindu extremists say these laws are needed because Christians are forcing Hindus to convert. "Yet, when you actually study the fact and study the cases in one state, in 10 years there have been three cases. Only two of those involved Christians. So really, this law seeks to elevate a problem that actually doesn't exist."
This law will only do more to create fear for Christians and do nothing to protect their rights as many Christians are forced to renounce their faith or threatened with violence. "I am not aware of any case where a Hindu has been prosecuted under the anti-conversion law for forcing someone to become Hindu."
While persecution across India increases, Voice of the Martyrs is doing all they can to help the church. They're providing humanitarian aid, Christian books, Bibles, and ministry materials, but they're also helping the families who've been affected by persecution. "Some in Orissa have lost their homes. Some have been martyred for their faith, and we are able to help their families and help them financially to keep going on, even after the loss of the husband, the father and bread winner."
A fund is available to help these suffering servants. "All of the money that comes into the fund goes directly to support families of those who are killed for their faith, those who make great sacrifices for the Gospel."