Persecution in India called ‘religious genocide’

By October 30, 2008

India (MNN) — The violence against Christians in India's Orissa State started in August. Unfortunately, not much has changed, according to Ramesh Landge who works with Partners International, a global ministry that creates growing Christian communities in partnership with God's people in the least-Christian regions of the world.

Landge says "This has been a religious genocide according to the U-N definition of genocide, where persistently and systematically it is planned and not stopped. It falls in that category of genocide, and we do agree with that."

Landge has been going into Orissa to help the many Christians who have been displaced by the attack from Hindu extremists. He says the situation isn't getting much better. "There has been a lot of intimidation. There has been a lot of persecution. People have not been able to go back [to their homes]. If they do go back, the Hindu fundamentalists parties want them to reconvert."

But, he says, Christians are standing strong. "The fact is, they've been living in refugee camps. They've been suffering. They have NOT renounced their faith. They continue to stand strong."

He tells us why this is so unprecedented. "This is the very first time in Indian history that such a long onslaught against Christians has taken place, and in a sustained way. In a way, the government was part of it. They never tried to stop it. They were just silent spectators."

That's forced many Christians into unsafe refugee camps, or into the jungle areas.

Landge says Partner International wants to help. "We would like to get in and provide some of the needed relief to the people. We would like to mitigate some of the suffering, especially as winter is approaching and people are in the open, and you can just imagine living in the jungle where it gets really, really cold."

While the government isn't doing much to help Indian Christians, Landge offers so suggestions on how you can help. "They can pray for the people who are being persecuted. They could be the advocates in different countries, and the third thing you can contribute materially in order to mitigate some of the suffering."

Despite all the persecution, Christians continue to share their faith and Landge says many are giving their hearts to Christ.

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