|Persecution Type:||Religious nationalism|
|Leader:||Prime Minister Narendra Modi|
Since the current ruling party took power in 2014, incidents against Christians have increased, and Hindu radicals often attack Christians with little to no consequences. The view of the Hindu nationalists is that to be Indian is to be Hindu, so any other faith—including Christianity—is viewed as non-Indian. Also, converts to Christianity from Hindu backgrounds or tribal religions are often extremely persecuted by their family members and communities.
Christians in India face horrific levels of violence from extremists—thousands of attacks take place every year. Several states in India have adopted anti-conversion laws, and the ruling Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has made it clear that it wants to impose these laws nationwide. Such laws are often used as an excuse to disrupt church services and harass Christians, and make it incredibly difficult for Christians to share their faith with others.
Converts to Christianity from a Hindu background are especially vulnerable to persecution and are constantly under pressure to return to Hinduism, especially through campaigns known as Ghar Wapsi (“home-coming”). They are often physically assaulted and sometimes killed.
On January 9, 2019, hardline Hindus tore down a church building in Narnepadu village, Muppalla Mandal, Guntur District, in the state of Andhra Pradesh, because it was built on the west side of a village, which they claimed violated Hindu principles of placement and positioning. (Source: Morning Star News)
On April 10, 2019, a Christian tribal man was attacked with swords, sickles and iron sticks in the Indian state of Jharkhand. He was killed by a crowd of Hindu radical “cow protectors” on suspicion of having slaughtered an ox, considered sacred by Hindus. Three other tribal Christians were injured in the attack. (Source: AsiaNews)
On October 2, 2019 a Christian birthday celebration was attacked by Hindu radicals in Vasalamarry village, located 40 miles outside of Hyderabad in India’s Telangana state. According to local reports, the mob of 30 radical nationalists stormed into the Christian home where guests had gathered for the birthday celebrations. The radicals vandalized decorations, terrified the guests and destroyed several household items owned by the Christian family. (Source: International Christian Concern)
In-depth research for Open Doors' 2020 World Watch List shows that at least eight Christians, largely in Sub-Saharan Africa, die at the hands of persecutors (extremists, family members and state authorities) each day. Read More
Pray with us for the church in South and East Asia, especially as we head into the holiday season—often a time when extremist activity and state arrests increase. Read More