India (MNN) — In advance of the
April elections, Orissa's ruling Biju Janata Dal has ended the alliance with
the Hindu extremist Bharatiya Janata Party.
According to a report from church leaders in the region,
they believe the violence against Christians in Orissa by Hindu rightwing
activists last year is one of the reasons behind the collapse of the BJD-BJP
alliance in the state.
It's a good thing for the church,
says JP C with Audio Scripture Ministries. "If they are a joint alliance, whatever
they do, there's no one to stand up to them. But when you have them split, they
can point fingers at each other to garner votes."
A five-phase parliamentary
election will be held in
Orissa along with those for the Lok Sabha beginning April 16 and ending May
In this relative calm, the seeds
of the Gospel that were planted can take root. "It's a fertile time for
the church," says JP Sundararajan. An ASM team just returned
from distributing audio Scriptures among
the Mundari people, some of the hardest hit during the unrest.
Sundararajan says even though the
persecution was challenging, "We have
noticed at Audio Scripture Ministries that if we did not have this time
of persecution, we would not have seen the growth that has taken place. God
continues to work powerfully in these areas."
Keep praying wisdom for the ASM
team. "Just because these parties have split and there is a 'ceasefire'
so to speak, the threat of violence against Christians has not gone
away. There is actually more danger
because if you know that there is a problem, people tend to be careful. But I
think right now, they have let their guard down. Pray for their protection,
because it's not over yet."