India (MNN) — Religious conflict and violence has increased greatly in India over the past ten years.

Abhijit, a partner with The Voice of the Martyrs Canada, says, “I studied in Orissa, and I had lots of friends. We never talked about Hindus and Christians before. Now, even children talk about it. Ordinary people talk about it. It has gone to every level and sphere of life in the last 10 years.”

Vigilante groups have targeted Christian churches and institutions. Several Christian groups have even come together to petition the Indian Supreme Court.

Hindu nationalism

How did things get so bad? Abhijit points to religious nationalism in the central government. “Whether they would deny it or accept it, they have deep roots with these big, Hindu fundamentalist organizations like RSS, BJP. They are connected. Most of their political leaders are from that background and have been trained.”

“They have spent their lives with this organization. So they are there to implement now.”

These groups want to define India as being a Hindu state. But India holds many religions and has an ancient Christian presence.

Some Christians believe the Apostle Thomas traveled to India as early as AD 52. Other Christians certainly traveled to India along trade routes. Read more here.

How to pray

Abhijit works with the East India Native Pastors Network. They support Christians in India, particularly in the northern states, and small churches not affiliated with major denominations.

Ask God to strengthen Indian believers. Abhijit says, “We are not inviting persecution to come. But we should be ready, and this is a reality.”


The header photo shows members of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, a Hindu nationalist organization. (Photo courtesy of Suyash Dwivedi, CC BY-SA 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons)