India’s state of religious rights causes concern.

By March 3, 2006

India (MNN)–There’s an alarming trend in the suppression of religious freedoms in India that concerns Grand Rapids, Michigan-based Mission India.

President Dave Stravers says U-S President George W. Bush’s visit this week could raise awareness of the issue. While not on the official agenda, there’s been word from their partners that religious freedom and tolerance may be privately addressed.

In addition, Bush met Thursday in New Delhi with nine prominent people representing five religions. Father Dominique Emmanuel, spokesperson for Delhi archdiocese and Reverend James Massey, former Minority Commission Member, represented Christians at the meeting. Acharya Sri Vasa Goswami from the Sri Chaitanya Sansthan and L M Singhvi from the Jain community were listed to attend the meeting. Muslim, Buddhist and Sikh religions were also represented.

Timing is important, because what MNI is tracking is the strategy that Hindu extremists are following–one similar to that of the Taliban. “Hindu extremists are playing on people’s religious emotions and they’re saying, ‘We want India to be 100-percent Hindu. We don’t want to permit any other religions to gain a foothold here.’ So they say, ‘Pakistan for Muslims, the graveyard for Christians.'”

Because India contains one fourth (412 million) of the 1.6 billion people on earth who never heard the Gospel, ministry won’t stop, despite threats of violence.

Stravers details what church leaders need. “Pray for supernatural protection–physical protection, so that believers will not be attacked and will not be killed, but secondly, they say, because we know there will be opposition, pray for courage.”

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