Shock gives way to rising nationalism and anger in India

By December 2, 2008

India (MNN) — Nationalist anger is beginning to surface in India in the wake of Muslim militant attacks at the heart of the financial district last week. 

Protesters are accusing neighboring Pakistan of being behind the Mumbai attacks that killed at least195 people.

The fallout didn't stop there. As reports revealed intelligence failures on the part of India's government, along with the neglect of preventing the attacks, India's interior minister resigned Sunday.

Grand Rapids, Michigan-based MissionIndia had a training conference for their top leadership in Mumbai about a mile from the initial assault site. The church leaders weren't directly harmed, but they were trapped for a time when  parts of the city shut down. 

Though not directly impacted by the crisis, Dave Stravers, of Grand Rapids, Michigan-based Mission India is more concerned about the long-term impact of the terrorist strike. Government mistakes are "giving a lot of political ammunition to the BJP."

Hindu extremists have been found among members of the Bharatiya Janata Party, or BJP–the opposition party contesting the Congress Party in the coming elections. BJP officials are taking advantage of the outrage against the Muslim extremists and campaigning for a tougher anti-terror law in response to the bombings.

However, the BJP has also been blamed for instigating Hindu extremists in their attacks on believers in Orissa. Stravers notes, "This party is anti-Muslim and anti-Christian, and it could give them enough impetus to  actually get control of the government of India as they did about tenyears ago, and this would be very bad news for Christians." 

The message to believers is: STOP. According to one of member of the Mission India staff, the extremists are calling for a repeat to last Christmas Eve's attacks on Christians. Police and government leaders have done little to quell the violence or to stop the  violence from continuing.

However, the Gospel is stillgoing out. Stravers says their church planters are still active. "We're praying for Christians to be strong in their witness. The church is growing fast. This is the good news. Nevertheless, believers will perhaps be suffering in the meantime."

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