India’s elections cause concerns for mission workers.

By March 1, 2004

India (MNN)–Uneasiness is on the rise as India’s parliament elections approach next month. “The political party that has most of the power right now is the Bharatiya Janata party, or BJP. Under their rule, things have been very unfriendly for Christians in many parts of the country. There’s a fear that this party and these kinds of people would gain much more power in upcoming elections.” That’s Dave DeGroot (de-groat) of Mission India of Grand Rapids, Michigan.

The elections, to be held in four phases, are likely to begin in April. With the BJP poised to take over the Parliament, there are concerns mission groups could see more anti-conversion issues on the political horizon.

DeGroot says the surge of support behind a nationalist movement and anti-conversion laws throughout India makes evangelistic work increasingly risky, but, “We use the local people who are almost always able to find ways around these problems as they crop up. However, this will be another set of big problems again.”

The national church is willing to minister through these conditions, but they need support. DeGroot says, “They’re asking us for prayer, and we in turn, do want to pray for them and we also want to keep empowering them to do their work while there’s opportunities.”

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