India (MNN) — A new wave of ultra-nationalism is putting Christians in India at risk.
“We are on the brink of potential greater persecution for the Church there,” shares Open Doors USA’s Emily Fuentes.
“We’re seeing often in these countries [how] it’s slowly ‘creeping in’…before it gets full-blown.”
The new movement of ultra-nationalism began with protests on a college campus that led to arrests earlier this week. According to the New York Times, “The arrests have taken the tension to a new level, with the BJP…following up with a country-wide campaign against people viewed as unpatriotic.”
For many people in India, national identity ties directly to Hinduism. To them, Christians are seen as being against “Mother India.”
The BJP government fits into this category. Their campaign against anyone they consider unpatriotic is, according to Fuentes, “a viable concern.”
She adds, “We’re seeing a general shift with the leadership not giving as much freedom to Christians. Recently, there’s been societal pressures, too, as a result of the government being more in line with Hindu extremism.
“Society has been very against Christians sharing their faith.”
While persecution is increasing in some areas of the country, it’s remaining calm in others, Fuentes explains. However, the overall feel is one of uncomfortable pressure.
A couple of weeks ago, a man had his head shaved because he shared the Gospel.
“Culturally, [that is] one of the most embarrassing things that could happen to a person,” Fuentes explains.
Now that you know, what will you do? Prayer is the first and most important response.
- Ask the Lord to strengthen believers facing persecution.
- Pray that Christians will be “wise as serpents, and gentle as doves.”
“[Matthew 10:16] is a verse we hear a lot from believers, not only in India, but throughout the world,” says Fuentes.
Secondly, you can send help through Open Doors. “We work through the delivery of Christian resources, especially Bibles, and then training to stand strong in the storm of persecution.”