Persecution of believers in India likely to continue.

By July 6, 2005

India (MNN)–Police in India have arrested five more in connection with the murders of two Christian ministers in Andhra Pradesh state.

Grand Rapids, Michigan-based Mission India’s Dave Stravers says that brings the total to seven militant Hindus connected to the killings.

What they confessed next was chilling. “They’ve admitted to the killings. They’ve stated that they were emboldened to make these attacks by a high court ruling in the state of Orissa, that had revoked a death sentence that had been given for a previous attack on an Australian missionary.”

In 1999, an Australian missionary, Graham Staines and his two sons were burned to death by a mob in Orissa. The ringleader was captured, and sentenced to death, only to have the death sentence overturned for a life sentence.

Right-wing Hindus often complain that Hindus are pressured to convert to Christianity by missionaries. In a Hindu nationalist state, that generally leads to violence, especially against believers.

Stravers says despite death threats against their team, he’s hoping that the situation will embolden intimidated believers. “We expect the persecution to continue and we’re just praying and asking for prayers that God’s people in India will have courage. It’s obvious to us that the Gospel is just being received all over India in openness and ways that it really never was received before, and this is why we’re having this reaction from Hindus.”

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