Date: August 30, 2021
India (MNN) — There’s a new wave of persecution underway in India’s Uttar Pradesh state. International Christian Concern reports nearly 50 attacks targeting believers in less than three months. More India headlines here.
John Pudaite of Bibles For The World says Hindu nationalism drives most of the violence. “Uttar Pradesh is the center of the Hindu belt in North India,” he explains.
“This is a place they (Hindu radicals) can exercise these abuses without much concern; they have a lot of support from the government.”
India is one of the world’s toughest places to be a Christ-follower. Earlier this month, Hindu radicals attacked three believers in Uttar Pradesh after they visited a COVID-19 widow. Police later arrested the Gospel workers and jailed them, accusing the believers of forcible conversions.
The Pew Research Center released a study of India’s religious landscape in June. Evangelical leaders met soon afterward to discuss the study’s results and how it compared to their experience in the field.
Vijayesh Lal, Evangelical Fellowship of India’s general secretary and a panelist during the consultation, told Christianity Today:
“It was generally agreed that the [Pew] report, although unsurprising in some respects, does not adequately reflect the ground reality in India — particularly the narrative of hate and polarization.”
Persecution has intensified in recent years. More about that here. Bibles For The World helps church leaders throughout India, supplying them with tools for Kingdom work.
“We’re trying to equip the indigenous Christians, different ministries and churches, with God’s Word so that they can continue to reach out and be strengthened in their faith,” Pudaite says. Help send Bibles to leaders in India here.
“I’ve heard reports of some of the Christians and pastors sharing their testimony and sing Christian hymns, even while they’ve been under interrogation.”
Pray believers stay strong in their faith despite opposition. Pray for wisdom, and pray they never fail to have Christlike compassion for lost people.
“We see this tremendous hunger for God’s Word; for truth, for hope. Pray [believers] can be strong in their faith and continue to share [the Gospel],” Pudaite requests.
Header image is a representative stock photo depicting a Shiva statue in India. Shiva is one of the most important gods in Hinduism. (Photo by spandan pattanayak/Unsplash)