Also last March in a remote village in Andhra Pradesh, India’s third-largest state, villagers made boards with messages stating that “foreign religious preaching” was prohibited there.
On January 20, 2018 in Tamil Nadu state, which shares a border with Andhra Pradesh, the body of Pastor Gideon Periyaswamy was found hung from the thatched roof of his house, a week after he complained to police about opposition from radical Hindus.
In northern India on August 5, 2018, 9-year-old Anjali was playing with her friends in Gurdaspur district when three men lured her away with the promise of a guava. The men gang-raped her before strangling her to death with a telephone wire. A local pastor told media that Anjali’s parents had recently become Christians, and that they had been repeatedly threatened. He said he believed her murder was used as a warning to others who might consider changing their religion to Christianity. He also reported that an increasing number of people in that area had been converting to Christianity, stirring up increasing opposition and violent threats.
These attacks give us a glimpse into the threat 65 million Christians in India are facing today in this land of 1.3 billion people. The world’s second-most populous country ranks as the 10th most dangerous country for Christians on the 2019 World Watch List—up from No. 11 in 2018 and No. 15 in 2017.