Date: March 16, 2019
India (International Christian Concern) – Two Indian territories have abolished and restricted Good Friday as a national holiday. The regions Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu are located on the west coast of India, which contains about 100 thousand faithful Christians, who are continuously oppressed by India’s government. These two territories were once formerly dominated by Christians in the tiny enclaves on the coast of present-day Gujarat state, but now Hindus form the majority of the 600,000 people currently living there.
Christian activists in India have criticized the district authorities for cancelling the traditional Good Friday holiday, and removing it from the list of public holidays. This new act has stemmed from the growing power of the pro-Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), as they have the tendency to sideline Christian religious occasions.
“It is very sad and unfortunate. It once again shows that our sentiments have not been cared for,” said Bishop Mascarenhas, secretary-general of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India. “Certain ideologies are using administrative powers to deprive us of our rights,” he continues.
In a similar attempt to reject Christian holidays, Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared Christmas Day as Good Governance Day, requiring all parliamentarians and senior officials to attend their offices on Christmas, although officially it was a public holiday. However, this notion failed as the majority of the community stood by the Christians to nullify the act. The Christian communities in Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu, are confidently praying that the majority will once again stand with them to abolish the pattered acts of India’s oppression towards Christians.
HOW TO PRAY: Pray for the Indian government to show greater respect for religious minorities. Pray for Christians in these regions to be able to honor Good Friday regardless. Pray for the Gospel to spread throughout these territories.