Bombings in India raise fear of sectarian violence.

By March 8, 2006

India (MNN)–Sectarian violence killed 15 people Tuesday in the Hindu pilgrimage city of Varanasi in northern India.

A series of closely-timed explosions rocked the Sankat Mochan temple and two blasts rocked one of the city’s main railway stations.

Although such incidents are usually claimed early on, officials say no group claimed responsibility, adding that it was too early in the investigation to pin blame.

However, past attacks show a pattern. Most previous attacks on Hindu temples in India have been blamed on Islamic militants.

That usually leads to reprisal violence, which continues to grow in scale, sweeping people up into the movements along the way. In between the two groups are the Christians.

While the terrorism isn’t directly aimed at believers, Gospel For Asia’s KP Yohannan believes that if the recent past is any indication, with passions stirred up, the persecution will get worse.

Already, he explains, “It is a daily event, not in one place, but literally in hundreds of places all over the country. It is so widespread, our people are no longer reporting small things like ‘They burned the Bibles’ and ‘They beat somebody up’. Only major reports are coming in.”

With attacks on the physical front, sometimes it’s easy to overlook the spiritual front. Yohannan urges, “Much prayer is needed that the body of Christ will not become weak or deny the faith.”

He goes on to say that with the level of threat growing against the church, “I am hearing that some new Christians, because of threats on their life, some of them are denying the Lord and going back into their old beliefs.”

Please pray for God’s protection and encouragement for the GFA missionaries and those they have led to Christ. Pray that Jesus’ redemptive love will touch and transform those throughout India who persecute Christians.

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