India: return to coalition politics good for Christians?

By June 7, 2024

India (MNN) — The winds of change are sweeping through India’s politics. In an unexpected turn, last-minute election results showed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s political party, the BJP, lost its outright majority in Parliament.

This loss forces Modi to return to coalition politics for the first time in a decade. While stock markets tremble at the uncertainty, Christians see a glimmer of hope.

Under the past ten years of BJP rule, “They (Hindu nationalists) have been persecuting the people as well as the pastors; many shut down the church or left the town because of the harassment from the authorities,” David* with A3 says.

“People [were] driven out of their homes; they were not allowed to enter the village because they are Christians. Only if they renounced their faith could they get back to their village.”

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi campaigning for the BJP in 2009.
(Photo courtesy of Al Jazeera English via Flickr under Creative Commons License)

Modi and the BJP turned a blind eye to Hindu nationalists during their rule, which sent persecution skyrocketing over the last decade.

Now, instead of ramrodding Hindu nationalist policies through Parliament with BJP support, Modi will have to rely on the cooperation of his political alliance to govern.

David explains in an email to MNN that alliance members often support secular agendas, which protect the interests of minorities like Christians:

“…we are returning to coalition politics. This approach will involve collective leadership, with a diverse group of leaders contributing their perspectives. Such diversity can bring about greater wisdom and more balanced decision-making. Secular principles, with a focus on protecting the interests of weaker sections and minorities in our society, will need to be prioritized. The interests of all groups will be taken into account. Historically, India has thrived under coalition politics. For a country as diverse as ours, coalition politics is the way forward. It ensures that various voices and interests are represented, fostering inclusivity and unity in our governance. Nobody will be left behind.”

Only the Lord knows what tomorrow brings. Pray He will give Christian leaders His wisdom and discretion.

“Pray that we will be united in our effort to stand with one another and share our resources to show solidarity with other churches across India,” David requests.





Header image depicts The Secretariat Building or Central Secretariat, which houses the important ministries of the Government of India. (Wikimedia Commons)

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