India (MNN) — Earlier this month, we talked about changes to the Foreigners Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) choking off Christian ministry aid in India. Foreign staff members of nonprofits must now sign affidavits vowing they won’t engage in religious conversion.
Ministries are afraid this could fuel more Christian persecution in India. Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Hindu extremists are growing bolder in their attacks on believers and hope to make the nation a Hindu utopia.
“In many of these villages, there are informants…. [Believers] know that literature could be confiscated, Christians could be arrested, [and] churches burned. They understand that,” Helen Williams with World Missionary Press says.
World Missionary Press supports pastors in India with Bibles and Gospel literature for distribution. Christians and other religious minorities are a popular target for hate crimes, so methods to share the Gospel are becoming more covert.
“Literature is sometimes almost a clandestine method of sharing the Gospel,” Williams says. “It can be passed from person to person quietly. It can be available in secret and it can hide in any place and still be available there without the person who initially gave it being in jeopardy.
“In areas where you can’t have open public evangelism, literature comes in as the way to continue distribution of the Gospel.”
Right now, World Missionary Press can’t keep up with growing Gospel literature requests from India because so many people are desperate for hope.
“We just sent two containers to a ministry that has been under scrutiny that has about 5,000 evangelists out in the villages. They intend to keep going however they can and in whatever way.”
Another one of World Missionary Press’s contacts is a pastor from West Bengal. He leads 7,000 small house churches that meet in houses and under trees throughout the region.
“We asked him about persecution and he said his area is one that right now is not under that stronghold of the Hindu group that wants to eliminate Christianity. He said, ‘But it’s coming. We can feel it coming.’ So he said this is just timely for him and for the 7,000 house churches.
“This is what we’re here for. We produce these booklets in 348 languages, and we did almost 100 million of them last year and shipped them out because we know it works. We know God uses it. We know that people are coming to the Savior.”
World Missionary Press and our Indian Christian brothers and sisters need our support and prayers more than ever.
Click here to give to World Missionary Press’s Gospel literature printing efforts.
And please pray for believers in India to get the ministry support they need. Ask God to give them wisdom and courage as they tell their neighbors about Jesus.
Header photo featuring a church in Hyderabad, India; courtesy of Paul Silvan via Unsplash.