Of politics and persecution

By February 9, 2015
BJP flag
BJP Flag  (Image courtesy WikimediaCommons)

BJP Flag
(Image courtesy WikimediaCommons)

India (MNN) — This weekend’s state elections in New Delhi could spell relief for Christians.

Politics and persecution don’t normally cross paths, but the rise of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to power in 2014 has noticeably emboldened Hindu radicals throughout India.

If the BJP fails to win New Delhi, politics and persecution might meet again. This time, though, the meeting could be more favorable for Christians.

A loss of BJP power could trigger a domino effect; some experts say the Delhi elections set a tone other states will likely follow. As the Hindu nationalists lose authority and influence, this might lessen the pressure on religious minorities.

But, until all the votes are counted tomorrow, Emily Fuentes of Open Doors USA says their focus is elsewhere.

“We have seen persecution spreading beyond the rural communities recently,” Fuentes shares.

“To even hear of it in New Delhi and Mumbai is quite a statement; it’s usually remote villages or local governments doing it.”

Urban persecution

Reuters, the Wall Street Journal, and International Christian Concern (ICC) have all picked up on persecution in New Delhi, while Morning Star News reports oppression near Mumbai.

Christian Dalit Open Doors

The basic rights of Christian Dalits are violated on a daily basis in India.
(Photo credit Open Doors USA)

Last week, hundreds of Christian protestors took to the streets of New Delhi. They wanted to draw federal attention to a string of church attacks, and their aim was non-violent.

However, police pulled demonstrators onto buses under the pretense of an emergency law forbidding “unlawful assemblies.” No charges have been filed yet against the Christians, a senior police officer told the Wall Street Journal.

“It’s definitely something we’re monitoring,” notes Fuentes.

Meanwhile near Mumbai, a Christian welder and house fellowship leader remains fearful of his radical Hindu attackers. At the end of January, a small mob mocked and beat Pramod Sahu near his workshop in Palghar District.

Five days after the attack, local police still wouldn’t file a report–a necessity when seeking medical care–and Sahu was unable to receive care for his wounds. It wasn’t until Christian lawyers, contacted through a newly-created emergency hotline, stepped in on Sahu’s behalf that he was admitted into a private hospital.

Politics and persecution

(Photo courtesy of Open Doors USA)

(Photo courtesy of Open Doors USA)

According to the Evangelical Fellowship of India (EFI), there is a direct correlation between politics and persecution. There were nearly 150 cases of persecution last year, they report.

Chhattisgarh had the most reported incidents–28–while Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh followed with 26 and 18, respectively.

“Much of the violence has taken place after the new government of Prime Minister Nahendra Modi came into power,” EFI leaders said in a statement acquired by Morning Star News.

“Police inaction and failure to arrest the guilty in most cases, its propensity to try to minimize the crime, and in rural areas especially, its open partisanship, has almost become the norm.”

Will you pray and share this story on Facebook?

“To be willing to share the story, so more people could be praying about the increasing persecution in India, is the best way to strengthen our brothers and sisters there,” says Fuentes.

5 Comments

  • David Gould says:

    Will pray for India..

  • Guest says:

    What a liar you are? It is because we give you freedom your crooked missionaries use lies and deception to convert poor, ignorant people.

  • Greg Yoder says:

    Dear ‘Guest.’ I’m not sure why you didn’t sign your name, but I’m glad you came to our website to see what GOD is doing around the world. God is the one who works through people. Unfortunately, your view of Christians isn’t a good one and probably is justified in your mind. Perhaps you have been wronged by one. But, that doesn’t represent all of us. Our job as a Christian is to teach people about Jesus. There are many people who are supernaturally touched by God in these moments. While they appear to be deceptive ‘techniques’, that’s not the truth. It’s God working in their spirit and in their lives. Providing food, clothing, shelter and other physical needs aren’t held over their heads. In fact, these things are given freely without any obligation to ‘convert.’ But, if they ask about Him, we’re going to tell them about it. Jesus is an amazing person to study. I dare you to study His life.

    Greg Yoder
    Mission Network News

  • Bharat says:

    you can try this ‘kind’ reasoning only with those unfortunately poor uneducated. Obviously all previous Govts of India representatives are to blame for not bringing them up from poverty thereby making them easy target for your proselytization. When your own Pope has said your God couldn’t be a magician to have created earth and is earthlings, why are you throwing dirt in people’s eyes by saying “god works through… Etc”? And where from this “Christian Dalit” category came? Then Why do You claim to have no cast in your religion and you love you call other religion names for having cast system? Why do all converts have same stories “my brother/sister/father was sick…. No hopes from doctor…. & bla bla bla”? If you don’t convert them for money nor for securing your God’s good will, why do you have problem of someone converts back? You should be just fine with it.

  • Greg Yoder says:

    I don’t have a Pope, actually. I’m not Catholic. So, I can answer for him. But, what I can say is that everyone needs to know who Jesus is. I know what our Bible says about creation. I believe it, just like you believe what you do. I don’t want to ‘convert’ anyone. I simply want people to know about Jesus. The by-product of that knowledge (many times) is people give up the faith they understood to be true and worship a God who is alive, who forgives sin, who heals, and most importantly lets us live with Him and worship him. True Christians NEVER force or pay ANYONE to ‘convert.’ When you truly have an experience with the truth, it is an incredible experience. Trying to explain it to you is difficult. But, I challenge you — read the Bible without judgement and see if you can understand it. I’ll bet you’ll be surprised at what it says. There are many people just like you who have been changed because of it. But, there are many others who never give it a chance. What do you have to lose?

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