Hindu fundamentalist vandalized a church in Bastar, Chhattisgarh during the Sunday Service on April 25th. The extremists forced believers gathered for Sunday Service to chant slogans of “Jai Shri Ram” (Praise the name of God Ram). They then captured the pastor, Deenanath, and his seven-month pregnant wife and threw gasoline on them. They tried to set the couple ablaze before vandalizing the church and burning the Bible.
India is number 17 on the World Watch List of countries where it is most dangerous to be a Christian. Since May 2014, a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been governing India. As a result, radical Hinduism, which was already present under the previous government, has increased steadily. Although intolerance is on the rise and minority groups are constantly under attack, the central government has refused to speak out against the atrocities – a reticence that has emboldened the radical Hindus to step up their aggression. The level of impunity has gone up markedly for those committed to a violent push for a completely Hindu India.
* representative photo used to protect persecuted Christians
Father God, we pray for Pastor Deenanath and for his wife and congregation. We pray especially for the child who is soon to enter this world and the troubled community in which his parents live. We cannot imagine the horror they have experienced. Heal them, Father, body and soul. Strengthen them to face each day with courage through Your Holy Spirit. We pray also for all the Christian communities in India. Grant the church leaders much wisdom as they lead their congregations through this time of increased persecution. Bring conviction upon the hearts and minds of the government leaders to put a stop to the violence. Protect Your people, Father, and as the light of Christ shines through them, set many free from the shackles of false religion and continue to grow Your church in the nation of India. In the name of Jesus whose light we reflect to a world in need, a world lost in the darkness of sin and death. Amen.