India

Most persecution comes from a variety of radical Hindu groups wanting to ‘cleanse’ their country.

India

World Watch List Rank World Watch List Score
10 83/100
Leader Population
Prime Minister Narendra Modi 1.3 billion | 65 million Christians
Main Religion Government
Hinduism Parliamentary Democratic Republic
WWL Rank in 2018 Persecution Level
11 Extreme Persecution

The leader of a radical Hindu group in India has declared that by the end of 2021, he’ll rid India of Christianity. Churches are regularly monitored and disrupted. Police officers rarely intervene when Christians are persecuted.

Some groups are working towards Hindutva, a process to make Indian rule exclusively Hindu. Officially, India has freedom of religion. But the anti-conversion law makes it illegal to convert to Christianity in seven states. Those who do convert from Hinduism are often attacked, or even killed. They are constantly under pressure to return to Hinduism and are likely to be rejected from their family.

Sharing the gospel is dangerous. It is almost impossible to build or renovate a church and meeting together for worship is not safe. Missionary visas haven’t been issued since the late 1960s. However, God is strengthening His Church and many believers want to share Christ.

PERSECUTION IN INDIA

"I used to share my faith with my neighbours. They ridiculed me for it. The ladies in my neighbourhood often made fun of me, but one day they seemed very interested about my faith. They called me home to share about Jesus and served me juice, which I drank, not knowing that they planned to drug me. After the drink I lost consciousness. When I came back to my senses I realised I had been raped."

Roshni was just 13 when she experienced this horrific attack. Sadly, violence against Christians is increasing in India, and attacks like this have become more common.

Some of these attacks have come from Hindu extremists. They particularly target believers who have converted from Hinduism; these believers face daily harassment and have been beaten, hospitalised and even killed. However, it is not only Hindu extremism that is causing the persecution of Christians; there are radical Islamic, Sikh and Buddhist groups, and the Naxalites, a militant communist group, also target Christians.Christians are also facing increasing pressure on a national level. Five states have impletemented anti-conversion laws and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have made no secret of their desire to make these laws nation-wide. Such laws are often used as an excuse to disrupt church services and harass Christians.

With the Indian government refusing to speak out against the attrocities being carried out against Christians and other minorities, the situation is expected to get worse.

HOW WE HELP

Open Doors is supporting the church in India through:

  • Distribution of Bibles, Children's Bibles, training manuals and Sunday school materials to persecuted Christians
  • Holistic training for pastors, church workers, women, youth, children and family groups
  • Livelihood and community development, adult literacy programmes, bridge schooling for children, vocational education, and urgent aid and relief for persecuted Christians
  • Advocacy support, legal seminars, and providing Rapid Action Teams in the field to help the victims of persecution.

RECENT STORIES FROM India

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Sunita’s courageous prayer

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I can die or I can witness. Make me a witness for you.” This was the courageous prayer of Sunita* as she hid in a…

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PRAYER POINTS FOR INDIA

  • That the Spirit of Truth will strengthen believers from a Hindu background to resist pressure to return to their family’s faith
  • That God will give wisdom and protection to believers who love to share their faith, especially in states with anti-conversion laws
  • Ask God to reveal Himself to parents who incarcerate their daughters because they’ve chosen to follow Christ.

 

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TAKE ACTION

  • Pray for those that are suffering by reading the latest prayer requests from persecuted Christians around the world.
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  • Advocate for persecuted Christians by signing the Hope for Middle East Petition.
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  • Consider donating your resources to Open Doors.
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