Posted by: janpierce | May 31, 2010

Persecution Increases in Three Indian States

I received a disturbing e-mail from friends in India this morning. There have been serious attacks made on pastors and church members in the past few weeks. In the city of Hubli, where our friend Grace lives in the state of Karnataka, a pastor and three church members were severely beaten while praying for a sick woman. They had been asked to come to her home to pray for her, but were charged under the “Forced Conversion” Act which is a law on the books in several states including Orissa, Karnataka and Chattisgarh. This law states that no one may be converted from one religion to another forcibly. It also accuses Christians of “deceiving the people with false hopes.” The government authorities in these areas have determined that holding meetings in churches, homes and public places constitutes force. The attacks are usually led by young men from radical Hindu groups, one of them being a group called The Bajrang Dal. Local police seem to be unsure how to proceed when Christian pastors and churchmembers are beaten and then taken to police stations. Sometimes they are pressing charges and other times they are releasing the victims of the beatings with warnings to stop meeting and stop preaching. It all sounds a lot like the trials the disciples went through in the New Testament when they were beaten and thrown in jail or released with the same admonitions.

We’re living in dangerous times for Christians who believe in evangelism. The large established Christian churches are not being targeted at this point, but the future for the Gospel in India seems to promise a lot of confrontation and conflict. We know what that does to the church—it intensifies the work of the Holy Spirit and causes believers to become firmly established in the midst of the persecution–It causes the church to grow. So we can praise God for that while remembering our brothers and sisters in prayer.

You can become involved in the battle. Will you pray for Uttar Pradesh, Orissa, Chattisgarh and Karnataka? Pray that the current leaders whose political leanings support radical Hinduism will be thrown out of office. Pray that the authorities will interpret the anti-conversion laws correctly and stop the assaults on Christian gatherings. Pray for courage for the believers to stand in the face of danger and if you would like to flood the governor’s and chief ministers offices with concerned e-mails, here are some e-mail addresses. Speaking truth in love is an effective force for the spread of the Gospel around the world.

Chief Minister of Karnataka: Shri B.S. Yediyurappa,

cm@kar.nic.in

Governor of Karnakata: Shri Hans Raj Bhardwaj,
rbblr@vsnl.com

Chief Minister of Chattisgarh: Dr. Raman Singh,
cm@cg.nic.in

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