What does persecution of Indian Christians look like?

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Nov 26, 2021
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Taken from: https://forthemartyrs.com/10-facts-about-christian-persecution-in-india/

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10 Facts about Christian Persecution in India

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India is home to nearly 1.3 billion people — 2.3% Christians, 14.2% Muslim and 80% Hindu. India’s religious minorities experience hostility from the government and Hindu extremists.
Here are 10 facts about the persecution Christians in India are facing:

1. India’s government is run by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which backs Hindu extremists.
Narendra Mohdi, the Indian prime minister, and the BJP have endorsed laws and policies that have enabled Hindu extremists to harass Christians and Muslims in the day-to-day. Hindu extremists want all Indians to be Hindu and believe that converting Christians and other religious minorities is simply returning them to their original faith.
“It is not conversion; it is reconversion,” stated Vyankatesh Abdeo, the national secretary of a Hindu organization, in an LA Times article. “A thousand years ago, all the Muslims and Christians in India were Hindu. They were converted by the sword. We are just bringing them back to their original faith.”

2. Indian government officials often spread disinformation and make inflammatory remarks about religious minorities.
Before and during the pandemic, many BJP politicians, leaders and members of Hindu extremist organizations made remarks or allegations in public and on social media about Christians and Muslims.
The State Department reported that a state-level BJP member threatened Muslims protesting the CAA, a citizenship law that excludes Muslims. The BJP member said, “We are 80 percent and you [the CAA protesters] are just 17 percent. Imagine what will happen to you if we turn against you.”
Remarks spread on social media have spurred harassment and even violent mobs against Christians and other religious minorities. In 2020, USCIRF reported over 120 instances of significant violence fueled by misinformation and false allegations.

3. Several of India’s states enforce anti-conversion laws.
According to USCIRF’s 2020 report, one-third of India’s 28 states have passed laws that “limit or prohibit religious conversion to protect the dominant religion from perceived threats from religious minorities.”
One particular anti-conversion law in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh demands that those converting from one religion to another must notify authorities of the change within 60 days. Giving gifts, such as Bibles, or providing food at church events could be seen under the law as allurement or inducement to convert.
Wild claims have been leveled against Christians as a result of anti-conversion laws. In 2017, six Christians were arrested for allegedly plotting to kidnap children and forcibly convert them. The Christian chaperons were taking the children, whose parents were also Christian, to a 4-day Bible camp.
Violating anti-conversion laws is punishable with fines and up to 10 years in prison.

4. Pastors and priests are most frequently arrested for allegedly “forcing conversions.”
In the states where these anti-conversion laws have gone into effect, pastors and priests are most frequently accused and jailed for “coercing” or “bribing” Hindus to convert to Christianity.
Uttar Pradesh’s anti-conversion law labels pastors and priests as “religion converters” and classifies discussing divine displeasure (i.e. talking about heaven or hell) as “forcing conversion.” In October, seven pastors were arrested during a prayer meeting in Uttar Pradesh for “forcing conversions” and “assembling illegally.”
Indian politicians and Hindu extremists have pushed for a nation-wide institution of these anti-conversion laws under the guise of “religious freedom.” This would increase the already widespread accusations and harassment of Christians for preaching the gospel.

5. Hindu extremists use mob violence to intimidate and harass Christians.
Hindu extremist mobs, motivated by false allegations, frequently burst into services, demand arrests, attack Christians, and destroy churches or other Christian establishments.
Alliance Defending Freedom described a typical attack: “A mob will arrive at a prayer meeting or Christian gathering, shout abuse and harassment, and beat up those in attendance, including women and children. Then, the pastors or priests are usually arrested by the police under false allegations of forced conversions.”
 
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And this is an edifying article about Christian persecution worldwide, and 7 important lessons we can learn from persecuted believers:

Taken from: https://www.opendoorsusa.org/christ...t-world-7-lessons-from-persecuted-christians/

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At times, it feels like our country is facing a violence epidemic, from tragic school shootings and inner-city gang warfare to R-rated movies and best-selling video games. It may seem like national violence is a surging river with no cut-off point, ready to take us under its current.

However, violence is nothing new to persecuted Christians in Afghanistan, North Korea, Nigeria, Iran, Pakistan and many more countries where believers suffer for their faith.
Our brothers and sisters in the persecuted church live in threat of violence each and every day; some have the scars and wounds to prove it. It’s by their actions and discipline we’re able to learn how to live in a violent world. And it’s through them that we’re able to study, adapt and grow closer to Christ.
Here are 7 things we can learn from the persecuted church about living in a violent world:



1. Always give thanks
When violence seems to walk up to our very doors, where is our focus? Are we dwelling on the attackers and our own fears?
In 1 Thessalonians 5:18, Paul writes: “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Jesus Christ.” It can be easy to get caught up in a narrative and be on the hunt for answers to such horrific acts, but the Bible instructs us to give thanks. When we least feel like it, our praise matters most.
Bae* is a Christian living in North Korea exiled from her home because she and her husband were caught with a Bible. She leads a small house church in this remote village where she is always hungry and is forced to work the fields every day. If she doesn’t meet her quota, she will be punished. If her small church is discovered, she could face imprisonment, torture or even death.
However, with each new day, Bae finds a reason to be thankful: “We thank our Father who has done such great things to prepare life for us,” she says. “We, who receive His amazing grace, keenly realize and understand His words: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the Father.’” For Bae, even just knowing Jesus’ words is enough to fill her heart with lasting thankfulness.



2. Refuse to let fear win
When violent acts fill our social media and TV screens, fear can take hold of us: Will my kids be safe at school? Is this a safe neighborhood to live in? If that armed robbery happened a couple doors down, will it happen to me next? Violence is a challenge that can seem completely overwhelming, but it’s also a challenge we can face with Christ.
God’s hopeful worlds pour over us in 2 Corinthians 12:9: “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” We constantly battle fear, and sometimes fear gets an edge. But that’s where we can turn to God and surrender it all to Him. We can give Him our fears and place our wills and our lives in His care. When we let Him take control, we can know we’re in the best of hands.
Subhash* was thrown in prison simply because of his faith. In India, false accusations against Christians are an easy way for non-believers to silence what they fear. In prison, facing up to three years behind bars, Subhash continued ministering. He didn’t let fear overcome him; he let God work through him. It was while he was in prison, he was able to minister to 11 individuals who would come to know Christ.
Fear, panic and anxiety can feel overwhelming, but when we surrender to God, we can find a peace not of this world.



3. Rely on God
Who or what are we relying on to save us? Politics? Policies? Our own strength? Whatever is of this world will ultimately fail. When we rely on God first and put our faith in Him, that’s when we have a firm foundation.
The “what ifs” can be relentless: What if this happens? What if that happens? But in John 14:27, Jesus tells us, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” What a perfect peace to clothe ourselves with daily—a peace that can calm our minds and spirit. When we rely on ourselves, we’re setting ourselves up for worrisome nights, but when we put our full trust in God, we have His permission to let go.
We don’t know what’s coming next. For Cecilia*, she didn’t know that when she said “goodbye” to her husband on the phone, it would be the last time she’d ever speak to him. He was targeted and killed for his faith in Syria. When he died, Cecilia could barely comprehend it, let alone how she was going to continue. Her husband provided for all the family’s needs, and he was gone now. However, even after such a tragic event, she found peace in God: “I decided to hold on to Jesus,” she said.

Today Christians all over the world are pressured, arrested, attacked or killed for their faith.
By giving monthly, you can help provide your persecuted family with critical support and emergency relief. Consider becoming a Frontline Partner today! Click the button below to learn more.
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4. Take a courageous next step
So much violence is mindless and heartbreaking, and when we start to fear what could happen, our faith begins to shrink. We shy away from challenges and next steps, and instead hold on to what we have with white knuckles. But we were made to thrive.
In 1 Corinthians 16:13, Paul writes to the church in Corinth living in a hedonistic culture: “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.” Is that how we’re living? Are we living faith-filled lives courageously and with strength? It’s too easy to fear violence to a point where we hesitate even leaving our homes. But God commands us to be strong and courageous.
Six months after the Taliban retook Afghanistan in August 2021, they declared that any girl in sixth grade or older could no longer attend school. But Sister Fazlia*, a Christian schoolteacher in the country, didn’t accept that crippling decree. Instead, Fazlia defied the Taliban. Knowing it could mean her life if caught, she fled the country with her nieces, nephews and seven of her students. She continues to teach them as a refugee in a foreign country. When asked where her strength came from for her to uproot her life and abandon all she ever knew, with tears in her eyes, she simply pointed to Heaven ...
 
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5. Grieve what you’ve lost
God sees your grief, and He’s right alongside you. We’re not a culture that excels at grieving. We try to push through our emotions as fast as possible, so we can right the ship and get back to our routines. Yet, when violence impacts our lives—and some of us horrifically so—God tells us to grieve.
In Matthew 11:28, Jesus says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Jesus didn’t say, “Come to me so I can fix you as fast as possible.” He said, “In me, you’ll find rest.” Grieving is part of the healing process. God sees us. He knows what we’re carrying. He knows we can get weary and burdened. We’re living in a violent world with violent people, and some us must grieve some of the hardest pains. But we can find rest in Him.
Zabi* fled Afghanistan, fearing for her life and leaving everything behind. She’s now in a country completely foreign to her, facing an unknown future. In her own words, she said: “I feel so alone.” Zabi left behind a flourishing career, trusted friends and a family she loved. And although she looks ahead to an unknown future, she’s allowing herself to grieve everything she’s lost. Even though she grieves, God is still with her, cares for her and loves her.



6. Forgive your enemies
Just as God has forgiven us, we’re called to forgive others. It can be so hard, can’t it? When we’re wronged, it can be difficult to forgive. And sometimes, we may not even want to. There’s a sense of power that comes with holding a hurt over someone else’s head. But in those moments, we remember that Jesus doesn’t hold our sins over our heads. He forgives, and He calls on us to forgive others.
Hatred brews quickly when we allow it. When someone has acted against us or purposely hurt us or someone we love, we can wish nothing but harm on them. But Jesus says in Matthew 5:44: “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”
Abda* is a Christian living in the Horn of Africa—where extremist groups, as well as communities, regard Christians as traitorous infidels. Abda was attacked by a Muslim extremist group because of he is known as someone who follows Jesus. The attack emotionally rattled him and left him with an amputated arm. Abda chose to stay in his village. To this day, he openly shares his testimony and preaches love instead of hate. He even openly walks the areas where drug addicts gather and tells them about the happiness he has found in Christ. It would have been easy for Abda to leave, but love compelled him to stay—a love that forgives instead of hates.



7. Keep persevering
Hate, persecution and violence can stop us in our tracks. It can leave us wondering, How could somebody do that to someone else? Our hearts break, and we’re left confused and hurt. Violence and the threat of it can be paralyzing.
Each of us has our own race to run. Hebrews 12:2 tells us to, “Fix your eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before Him He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” We don’t know what’s coming next, but we do know—with God—there’s nothing we can’t handle. If we remain grounded in our faith, on Him as our firm foundation, we can walk confidently wherever He may lead us. He wants us to live life abundantly, not in our houses behind locked doors, but on the mission fields He’s prepared for us.
Even in countries like Nigeria, where almost every two hours a Christian is killed for their faith, Christians continue to gather and worship. Pastor Andrew’s church was burned to the foundation by Boko Haram, but he didn’t let the hate-filled violence against him and his congregation stop his cause. Instead, with help, he rebuilt the church, and it’s now an incredible place of restoration and transformation—even stronger than it was before. Andrew says, “After losing everything, we realized God is all we need.” Pastor Andrew and his congregation continued to persevere.
*****
No matter the violence, God is with us
After Moses’ death, God gives Joshua this promise: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9). God is with us at all times.
There will be violence in this world until Christ returns for His people. Prayer and our relationship with God is our No. 1 weapon against it.
From the jungles of Nigeria to the cities of China to our own homes, God answers prayers all over the world, and He is with His people.
Trust He will be with us wherever He would have us go, no matter the persecution, no matter the violence."
 

arthurfleminger

Well-known member
Aug 18, 2021
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I'm not surprised at all with these attacks on Christians in India. Indians can be very cruel toward each other, as can all cultural societies.

In the early 1990's I had the opportunity to work with 4 Indian engineers who came to the US
. They came to purchase electronic machinery and I worked with them for about 3 weeks. These were very intelligent, well educated, and likable people. We spent a lot of time together so we had a number of discussions.

One day the subject of the conversation turned to the 'Caste System' of India. This system separates people into different classes at birth. And, it's my understanding that once you are in that class, that's where you'll remain the rest of your life.

I asked them about the lowest caste, the 'Untouchables/Dalits'. A little background on the Dalits,
This is a caste who society believes to be so vile that they aren’t considered part of the system at all. Dalits are considered so impure, the are forbidden to share the same water, use the same street, etc. as higher castes.
They are completely shunned from society. forbidden to live amongst those of high castes.

To my surprise, all of the Indian engineers vehemently supported the Caste System and lived by that code in India.
The would have nothing to do with the Dalits/Untouchables and they despised them.


Their thoughts on the Dalits reminded me of how Americans had mistreated black people for so many years. Black people were the 'Untouchables' of the USA.

I'm no expert on current affairs in India, but today it's my understanding that many laws have been passed to do away with the caste system. However, it's my understanding that in many areas of India, the populace still adheres to the system, no matter how unfair it seems to be.

So, my question to Xavier is, "How deep rooted is the Caste System in India today, not only among the rural population but also among the city and well educated population of India?"
 

arthurfleminger

Well-known member
Aug 18, 2021
1,210
638
113
#6
I'm not surprised at all with these attacks on Christians in India. Indians can be very cruel toward each other, as can all cultural societies.

In the early 1990's I had the opportunity to work with 4 Indian engineers who came to the US. They came to purchase electronic machinery and I worked with them for about 3 weeks. These were very intelligent, well educated, and likable people. We spent a lot of time together so we had a number of discussions.

One day the subject of the conversation turned to the 'Caste System' of India. This system separates people into different classes at birth. And, it's my understanding that once you are in that class, that's where you'll remain the rest of your life.

I asked them about the lowest caste, the 'Untouchables/Dalits'. A little background on the Dalits,
This is a caste who society believes to be so vile that they aren’t considered part of the system at all. Dalits are considered so impure, the are forbidden to share the same water, use the same street, etc. as higher castes.
They are completely shunned from society. forbidden to live amongst those of high castes.

To my surprise, all of the Indian engineers vehemently supported the Caste System and lived by that code in India.
The would have nothing to do with the Dalits/Untouchables and they despised them.


Their thoughts on the Dalits reminded me of how Americans had mistreated black people for so many years. Black people were the 'Untouchables' of the USA.

I'm no expert on current affairs in India, but today it's my understanding that many laws have been passed to do away with the caste system. However, it's my understanding that in many areas of India, the populace still adheres to the system, no matter how unfair it seems to be.

So, my question to Xavier is, "How deep rooted is the Caste System in India today, not only among the rural population but also among the city and well educated population of India?"

Here is a list of some of the sanctions/laws that governed the Untouchables:

Based on the punishments prescribed in The Untouchability (Offences) Act, 1955 the following practices could be understood to have been associated with Untouchability in India:

  • Prohibition from eating with members of other castes
  • Provision of separate cups in village tea stalls
  • Separate seating arrangements and utensils in restaurants
  • Segregation in seating and food arrangements at village functions and festivals
  • Prohibition from entering places of public worship
  • Prohibition from wearing sandals or holding umbrellas in front of higher caste members
  • Prohibition from entering other caste homes
  • Prohibition from using common village paths
  • Separate burial/cremation grounds
  • Prohibition from accessing common/public properties and resources (wells, ponds, temples, etc.)
  • Segregation (separate seating area) of children in schools
  • Bonded labour
  • Social boycotts by other castes for refusing to perform their "duties"[20]
 

Mission21

Pathfinder
Mar 12, 2019
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World Watch List 2022.
India..#10
- Annual ranking of the 50 countries..
- most extreme Christian persecution.
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Info. from..
opendoors.org