Areas of Andhra Pradesh, India may ban preaching

By September 8, 2006

India (MNN) — Violence against Christians is widespread in India. Each week there are reports of evangelists being beaten or killed, churches being burned, or laws being passed to restrict religious freedom. It appears that’s what’s happening in another state.

Voice of the Martyrs Todd Nettleton says, “A bill is going to be introduced in the state assembly of Andhra Pradesh State, which is in southern India, banning the preaching of any other religion near a Hindu temple.”

Christian activity in the temple town of Terupati, may be responsible, says Nettleton. “Christian groups have been witnessing for Christ in and around that temple property. That has caused these radical Hindus to become angry and now they’re pressuring that state government to pass a law disallowing Christian ministry or preaching near that temple.”

It’s quite possible the state assembly could pass the measure, but Nettleton says, “It is clearly in contradiction to the Indian constitution, which promises freedom of religion. So, even if the State Assembly passes such a law you would hope at some point it comes up for review in their court system and the court system says, ‘wait a minute, you can’t have a law like this.'”

Nettleton says there’s just one reason these bills are being introduced. “Radical Hindus see the church growing. They see Hindus coming to know Christ, particularly among the Dalits, or the untouchables. We hear amazing stories of Dalits coming to Christ in great numbers.”

Since many Christians have been attacked and even killed in India, Nettleton says they’ve established a fund to help. “Voice of the Martyers has what we call, ‘The Families of Martyrs Fund.’ Money from that fund goes to provide financial support to the families of those who have been killed for their faith. It also provides support for those when a family member is imprisoned as well.”

Click on the link below to help.

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