Last week there were elections across India. The results of the vote means that the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) returns to power. Christians are worried and fear increasing persecution and marginalisation.
“Now that the ruling party comes in again, Christians might have very difficult times,” Sujal*, a church leader, said. “It will be difficult for the churches to function. There will be more violence against Christians. The BJP is a pro-Hindu party and is polarising the minds of Indians on the grounds of religion, spreading communal disharmony. It rouses religious intolerance, promoting Hinduism, crowning it as the only religion in India and belittling Christians and Muslims as intruders.”
Since the BJP came to power in May 2014, Hindu nationalism, radical extremism and the persecution of religious and ethnic minorities have seen a dramatic rise. India’s Christians are expecting that so-called anti-conversion legislation, which prevents people from changing from Hinduism to any other religion, will be used more widely
While Open Doors’ local partners recorded 147 incidents of violence against Christians in India in 2014, they have recorded 216 incidents in the first quarter of 2019 alone, including two murders. These are just the incidents that Open Doors local partners have verified; it is likely that many other incidents have gone unreported because victims are afraid to speak out.
Image: BJP supporters held mass rallies ahead of the elections across India…
A local church partner says, “We are not happy or sad. We trust the Lord is in control and He will help us through it all. Most of the Indians are happy that Modi is back. They believe he will bring about change. Some Christians are discouraged, yes, but they have also been preparing for this to happen. It is also true that neither Congress nor other parties work for the welfare of Christians. We would have faced opposition anyhow. So we instead prepare ourselves to face what God has prepared for us.”
We support people who are beaten, tortured,
imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus.