Under the BJP’s control, Christians in India faced tremendous persecution. The nationalistic agenda the party put forth essentially said that as a Hindu country, there is no room for the Christian faith in India. This nationalism led to numerous instances of Christians being physically assaulted. The situation was intense enough to earn India the #11 spot on Open Doors USA’s 2018 World Watch List*.
“The BJP party has been part of fomenting this anger and this hostility towards Christians. Well, there’s some sense that this political group is losing some of their influence. They’ve lost some elections in some key states recently, so there’s some hope that maybe the secular society in India is beginning to see that this Hindu nationalistic agenda is not good for pluralism. It’s not good for freedom of religion. It’s not good for India. I think it harms them in the International community and maybe the Indian people are starting to speak back,” Open Doors USA’s David Curry explains.
Curry says the India most North Americans probably think of, an India associated with images of Gandhi and peaceful protests no longer exists. Minorities, like Christians, Muslims, and more have been met by resistance from the public.
“They’ve been trying to force a very violent, in my view, and difficult nationalistic agenda. We as the Western World, need to hold India account for that,” Curry says.
“They have a massive potential economy. We have massive business deals with India. Apple is doing business in India, as is Amazon and everybody else. The American government’s cutting deals with India. We need them to play by the rules of the international community, which means freedom of religion of religious expression for Christians.”
To Curry, this means pastors pastoring their churches and citizens having Bibles and the freedom to print a Bible. Freedom of religion is necessary in a free society.
“And my hope is that these new elections are going to be a signal that the people want the rule of law upheld, without fear, without favoritism towards Hindu or anybody else. We want to see India prosper and to be free,” Curry says.
Pray this recent election is the start of a wave of freedom of religion in India. Pray for the perseverance of Christians in the country. Also pray for their encouragement and freedom to worship Christ.
*The World Watch List is a ranking of the top 50 countries where Christian persecution is most severe. The 2019 World Watch List is set to be released Jan 16.
Header photo courtesy of Unsplash.