India (MNN) — Prime Minister Narendra Modi confidently addressed India’s Parliament this week. He predicts that his Hindu nationalist party will exceed the law’s requirement for victory by 98 seats in the May elections.
Modi and the BJP came to power a decade ago, dealing a severe blow to religious minorities.
Todd Nettleton with The Voice of the Martyrs USA says India’s constitution guarantees religious freedom. He states, “The Constitution makes a lot of promises. But if the government is unwilling to defend those promises, it becomes a piece of paper.”
The hostility against non-Hindu religions is tangible in India.
“Government ministers have talked about India being Hindu soil; [they’ve said,] ‘The very soil of our country is Hindu. If you’re not Hindu, you don’t belong here,’” Nettleton says.
“You can imagine how Christians and Muslims and other religious minorities respond to that message.”
India’s United Christian Forum reported 525 violent incidents against believers in the first eight months of 2023 — up from 505 incidents throughout all of 2022.
Authorities often use state anti-conversion laws as a premise to persecute religious minorities. Ask the Lord to protect His followers in India.
“If Prime Minister Modi walks out of those elections with a big victory and another five-year term, I think he will see that as a lot of political capital that can be spent on things like a national anti-conversion law,” Nettleton says.
“What would happen if the government suddenly started making [Christian] foreigners leave? [Or] kicking out Christian NGOs? We’ve already seen some efforts in that direction [with]… Compassion International,” he continues.
“I don’t want to be a doomsayer. But when you think about Prime Minister Modi for five more years, there’s not a lot that’s ‘off the table.’”
Header image depicts Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a 2021 teleconference. (Wikimedia Commons)