For the first time, India cracked the top 10 on our World Watch List, moving from No. 11 to No. 10. Since the current ruling BJP party took power in 2014, attacks on non-Hindus have increased; and Hindu radicals believe they can attack Christians with no consequences. As a result, Christians have been targeted by Hindu nationalist extremists more and more each year. In the nationalists’ view, to be Indian is to be Hindu. So any other faith—including Christianity—is considered non-Indian. This view is reinforced in both city marketplaces, as well as in remote villages in ways that have become increasingly violent.
Our field is asking us to pray with Indian believers beaten in a remote village in Central India.
Recently, villagers severely beat five Christians because of their faith. Then they tied up each one with ropes. While one managed to escape to another village and tell the Christians there about the attack, the rest of the group was tied up the whole night.
When believers from that village complained to police, the villagers agreed to not further attack Christians on the condition they revoke their complaint. Believers followed through and reportedly, the situation is better.
However, the opposition continues in more subtle ways. One of the victims told our Open Doors ministry partner, “Whenever we go out for work, people from the village come to our houses and steal our belongings. Though the situation is a bit peaceful now, we know that the villagers have still not accepted us completely. Our lives are at risk. But we will never leave Christ and will stay faithful to death.”
Open Doors’ partners are in contact with these believers and regularly encourage and pray with them. A team member tells us: “Despite the risk, they have decided to stay in their own village. They need a lot of prayers.”