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India Facts

Score: 81 / 100
Region: Asia
Persecution Type: Religious Nationalism
Persecution Level: Extreme
Population: 1,342,513,000
Christians: 63,970,000
Main Religion: Hinduism
Government: Federal Parliamentary Republic
Leader: Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Profile of Persecution Methodology

Violence 86%
Church Life 77%
National Life 88%
Community Life 79%
Family Life 76%
Private Life 75%

Where Persecution Comes From

While the source of Christian persecution in India depends on the location within the country, most of it comes from a variety of Hindu radical groups and organizations, including the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Shiv Sena and Vishya Hindu Parishad (VHP). Hindu radicals also dominate the central government in New Delhi. In Muslim-majority areas, Christians experience persecution at the hands of the Muslim majority. In the poorer regions of the country (Bihar, Jharkand and Chhattisgarh), the Naxalite movement (Maoist rebels) also persecutes Christians.

How Christians are Suffering

Because Hindu radicals view Christians as outsiders, Christianity in India is in more danger than ever before. These radicals are intent on cleansing the nation of both Islam and Christianity and employ violence to this end. Usually, converts to Christianity experience the worst persecution and are constantly under pressure to return to Hinduism. Campaigns known as Ghar Wapsi (or “homecoming”) are used to get Christians to denounce their newfound faith. These converts are often physically assaulted and sometimes killed for refusing to deny Christ. The government continues to look away when religious minorities are attacked, indicating that violence may continue to increase in the coming years.

Examples

In November 2016, a pastor and his family showed the Jesus Film to people in their village. When they returned to their home, it had been burned down.

In March 2017, U.S.-based Christian charity Compassion International ended its activities in India because of increasing governmental restrictions. Since the pro-Hindu BJP party came to power in 2014, radical Hindu groups have accused Christian charities of attempting to convert Hindus.

In May 2017, six pastors were arrested at a prayer meeting in a believer’s home in the village of Salempur in Uttar Pradesh. The pastors were charged with disturbing the peace, creating hostility between religions and attempting to incite a riot.

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Pray for India

 

  • In recent years, Hindu organizations have become more aggressive, claiming that India belongs to Hinduism. Pray for Christian converts from Hinduism who are forcefully pressured to return to Hinduism.
  • Pray with Christians in India for God’s provision and protection over them as they boldly evangelize in states with anti-conversion laws. Pray that they will be wise in their evangelism efforts.
  • Pray for Christian girls placed under house arrest by their families because of their faith. Ask God to encourage them in their faith and pray that their families would come to know the Lord.

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