India (MNN) — Persecution remains a problem for India.
According to a global human rights report released Thursday by the U.S. government, violence based on religion was one of India’s top challenges in 2014.
There have been over 600 cases of religious violence since Prime Minister Modi took office, and Christians were targeted in a third of them.
Voice of the Martyrs USA spokesman Todd Nettleton says Modi was a long-term member of the RSS.
“Every single Indian should be a Hindu: that’s kind of their ‘bedrock’ philosophy,” explains Nettleton.
“So, Prime Minister Modi, when he came to power, brought that ideology with him. It basically set a tone that Christians are not welcome and that the government will not actively work to protect their religious freedom.”
Soon after Modi was chosen by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as Prime Minister, Nettleton asked a VOM India contact how long until a national anti-conversion law went into effect.
The contact’s response was a bit unexpected.
“They don’t have to pass new laws. They’ve simply sent the message that, you know, ‘You can persecute Christians, and you will not be held accountable,'” Nettleton relays from his contact.
“In the last year, those words have really been prophetic. We haven’t seen a national effort on the legal side to change the law.
“What we have seen is increased persecution, and decreased prosecution of the persecutors.”
The latest U.S. human rights report did not update its “freedom of religion” section for India, but the nation jumped several spots on the Open Doors USA World Watch List between 2014 and 2015. The World Watch List is a ranking of 50 countries where persecution is most severe.
What YOU can do about it
Find ways to strengthen the Body of Christ in India through VOM here.
“Our help for the Church in India is very comprehensive,” says Nettleton, explaining that VOM comes alongside persecuted Christians through training conferences and by providing resources.
Most importantly, keep India’s persecuted Church in your prayers.
“Pray for the Church there, but also pray for the persecutors,” Nettleton asks.
“Pray for Prime Minister Modi, pray for people in his government to come to know Jesus Christ in a personal way.”
And, keep an eye on the news.
“People point to it [India] as an economic success story, but we need to be aware–as we see those news stories–that, behind the scenes, our brothers and sisters [in Christ] are being persecuted.”
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