Stories

Persecution In India: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

Just a tiny minority in a sea of over 1 billion non-Christians, believers living in India face some of the highest rates of persecution in the world.

The Good

We often hear stories of God using acts of persecution to open even more doors to the Gospel. Historically (including the New Testament times), persecution has resulted in the growth of the Christian church.

For example, in 2008, believers in Orissa endured months of brutal persecution violence at the hands of anti-Christian extremists. Our partners later reported that more people were open to hearing the Gospel after seeing how their Christian neighbors responded peacefully.

The Bad

India’s constitution gives each citizen the right to freedom of religion. But in practice, choosing to follow Christ can have severe consequences in India.

Five states have laws that make it difficult to become a Christian believer. And many people in India (especially uneducated illiterates in rural areas) don’t even know that they have a constitutional right to freedom of religion. India is even on the US Commission on International Religious Freedom’s watch list.

The Ugly

What kinds of persecution do believers face? Here are some we’ve seen recently:

  • Anti-Christian extremists put posters up in one community, warning our partners to leave the tribal areas and go back to their own villages.
  • At a church planted through an Adult Literacy Class in south India, tribal locals abused believers and took away their Bibles.They also threatened to file false charges against the church with the police.
  • Children’s Bible Club leader Amit is facing threats from two anti-Christian extremists because he is teaching kids about Jesus.
  • A new believer named Rijuta was violently beaten by her husband because of her faith in Christ. He pressures her to worship idols.
  • 25-year-old Vanad is an Adult Literacy Class student in west India. Because of his faith in Christ, Vanad was brutally beaten by anti-Christian activists.
  • Thavriben and her son, Tameel, received Jesus as their Savior through the ministry of a Church Planter. Because of their faith in Christ, they were chased out of the village by Thavriben’s oldest son and other villagers.
  • Adult Literacy student Charula lives in west India. She is a widow with ten children, and now she is facing opposition from her family because she is a follower of Jesus.

How can you help support these dear brothers and sisters in Christ? Pray! India’s believers expect opposition and rely on prayer to endure intimidation, rejection, and violence.

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