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Extremists place unreasonable demands on believers

By March 23, 2009

India (MNN) — Last year, anti-Christian violence affected nearly half of India's districts and targeted believers in 310 villages, according to the All India Christian Council.

The World Bible Translation Center reports that Hindu radicals have recently placed unreasonable demands on Orissa's believers. Extremists are requiring Christians to reconvert to Hinduism, and in light of next month's elections, vote for the Hindu fundamentalist party. Believers also must withdraw any reports of violence that were submitted to the government.

Last year's anti-Christian violence was one of the reasons for the split between India's ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and the Hindu extremist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP); BJD was one of its oldest allies. According to the All India Christian Council (AICC), the 2008 anti-Christian violence killed nearly 60 people, including 2 pastors. Christians in over 300 villages were targeted; 4,400 houses were burned, and 50,000 people were left homeless. Nearly 20,000 individuals were injured in attacks, and two women were gang-raped; one of them was a nun. Hindu extremists now are forcing Christians in Orissa to vote for the fundamentalist party in elections beginning April 16.

Anti-Christian violence in India has continued, and Voice of the Martyrs Canada received several reports in recent weeks. On March 9, Hindu militants armed with rods and hockey sticks forced entrance to a pastor's home in New Delhi where they beat him, his wife and son. The militants also stole 15,000 rupees ($370 CAD) and threatened to return and murder his family if he didn't leave within a week.

On March 11, another pastor was attacked by Hindu extremists after a prayer meeting. Radicals beat the pastor and told him to stop conducting prayer meetings. He suffered fractures to his back and ribs. Pray for healing for these believers, and ask God to give wisdom to church leaders in India.

Pray for God's wisdom and blessing to be upon Indian Christians, and that they would stand strong in their faith.

WBTC-India
distributes Easy-to-Read Oriya Scripture to India's believers. This
version, written at a third grade reading level, is well-suited for
those in the region who are poor and undereducated. WBTC-India provides
this written Word for house churches.

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