India might seem like a religiously peaceful country when looking from the outside in, but when digging in deeper, things are not so great.
Christians in India make up 2.3% of the population and given that India is a Hindu nation, many minorities are not welcome. There is extreme tension between these groups. Pew researchers write, ““Indians … simultaneously express enthusiasm for religious tolerance and a consistent preference for keeping their religious communities in segregated spheres. They live together separately.”
However, the attacks that have been carried out against Christian communities show otherwise. Hindu Extremists are performing attacks in broad daylight. The statistics of the first 6 months of 2021 show 3 murders, 22 cases of physical violence, 22 attacks or vandalisations on churches, and 20 cases of ostracising or boycotting in areas where Christian families have refused to give up their faith. Meanwhile, the prime minister turns a blind eye.
Recently, radicals in Gujarat state issued a statement to district authorities telling them that if they did not stop church activities in the region, the radicals would take matters into their own hands. The document issued by the radicals listed the names of 56 churches and pastors and gave district authorities three days to act. In response, the police told pastors not to conduct church services or they would risk attack by the radicals — and the police would not protect the Christians. Instead, they said they would arrest the pastors. Several pastors have already been arrested, many of the churches have stopped meeting, and pastors are unable to visit people.
Pray that these Christians will be able to worship and work freely, and pray for the hearts of the radicals, extremists and the police to be changed.
Pray for Christians to be bold and strong in their faith. Pray for the Lord to keep them safe.
Pray that the government will step in and enforce religious freedom.
Source: Christianity Today, International Christian Concern, iCommitToPray