India (MNN) — Remember that Global Terrorism Index (GTI) we told you about yesterday? The Global Terrorism Index Top 5 countries land on MNN headlines a lot, since terrorism is often linked to religion.
“Religion as a driving ideology for terrorism has drastically increased since 2000. Prior to 2000, nationalist separatist agendas were the biggest drivers of terrorist organizations,” the GTI notes in its summary. Groups aligning with radical Islam–Islamic State, al-Qaeda, Boko Haram, and the Taliban–were responsible for two-thirds of last year’s terror-related deaths.
But in country #6, most fatalities caused by terrorist attacks occur at the hands of Communist extremists.
JP Sundararajan with Audio Scripture Ministries (ASM) says their partners are very familiar with India’s top terror group. “They’re called ‘the Naxalites,'” he explains.
“I have been in areas which are controlled by the Naxalites, and there is a lot of fear because you just don’t know…. A run-in with the Naxalites could turn out to be deadly.”
There are Communists in India?
The Communist Party of India – Maoist (CPI-M), also known as “the Naxalites,” was formed a decade ago following the merger of two Communist groups. These groups had been active in India since 1967. The armed wing of this group is called the Peoples Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA).
In August 2008, PLGA assassinated the well-known Hindu Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati, reportedly for the swami’s involvement in 2007 riots. Orissa state’s ruling political party at the time, the BJP, quickly blamed Christians for the crime. Accusations and widespread persecution followed, even though PLGA openly took credit a few days after killing Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati.
Now known by many as the “Orissa massacre,” the anti-Christian spree displaced some 50,000 believers and took the lives of hundreds.
Terrorism vs. ministry
One of ASM’s partners, Indian Evangelical Mission, has been working among the Bison Horn Madiya for years.
“The Indian Evangelical Mission has been working hard in translating Scriptures for them into their own language,” Sundararajan explains.
In the south-central states of Chattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh, Naxalites have stopped the little-known people group Bison Horn Madiya from going to church and meeting with missionaries.
But, these terrorists overlooked one thing, missionaries told ASM.
“They said, ‘People may stop us from attending worship, but they’re unable to stop us from listening to God’s voice through this audio Bible.'”
Before they were cut-off from the Bison Horn Madiya, missionaries gave believers 100 audio Bibles recorded in their heart language, Koya Mata. God’s timing is part of what makes this story even more powerful, says Sundararajan. ASM sent the 100 players only a few months prior.
Terrorists, Communists, and you
Sundararajan says the best ways to help the Bison Horn Madiya and India’s other little-known people groups are three-fold. The first and most important way to get involved is to pray.
“Pray for those front-liners, the translators, and people on our staff in India, who are carrying these Bibles into very troubled areas at great risk,” says Sundararajan.
Pray also for the Bison Horn Madiya to accept Christ as Savior and Lord as they listen to His Word.
“If you are praying, and you want to do more, help us by buying more Bibles. For $35, you are able to help us provide an audio Bible to a [group] like this.”