India (MNN) — Thousands of Indian farmers have protested new agricultural laws since September 2020. Last week, police in riot gear tried to force farmers off a protest site near the territory of Delhi. The farmers refused to move, and 18,000 tractors assembled in a show of defiance.
Unrest spread to surrounding areas, and Hindu nationalist gangs began attacking farmers. One farmer has died in the violence. The internet has now been suspended in many of the surrounding areas.
John Pudaite of Bibles for the World says the new laws benefit only large corporations. “This is going to hurt the small farmers, which there are literally hundreds of millions of in India. The protests have risen up pretty much nonstop since September. The government has tried to squelch these protests, even digging up the roads and destroying their own infrastructure so that the farmers can’t get to the nation’s capital.”
These new laws threaten food security for people across the country, especially in remote areas. But the protests show the Hindu nationalist government may be losing some of its power. Pudaite says, “They’re anti-Christian, anti-Muslim, anti any other religion except Hinduism. They had come back to power for a second five-year term. This is possibly a positive sign that they’re losing control, losing their base [of voters].”
The growth of the Church
Meanwhile, the kingdom of Jesus Christ continues to grow throughout India. Pudaite says, “We’ve seen through our ministry partners, amazing, continuous reports of them going out with the Gospel, and just showing how the Gospel cannot be locked down during this time. Every week I get text messages with pictures of new baptisms, of new fields being broken, of churches being planted. And so it’s very exciting that they can continue their work.”
India currently holds the number 10 spot on the World Watch List, which details the most dangerous countries for Christians. Ask God to strengthen Indian Christians as they glorify Jesus despite persecution, and pray the Indian government will remove any barriers to people getting the food they need.
The header image shows protesting farmers marching to Delhi. (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain)