India ranks at number 17 on Christian charity Open Door’s World Watch List this year – the highest it has ever been. The Rev Dr Richard Howell of the Evangelical Fellowship of India says that, “Political Hinduism has arrived and majoritarian persecution has begun… Every week there are three to four incidents of mobs attacking Christians.”
Indian church planters supported by UK charity BMS World Mission have reported being imprisoned, forced to flee their homes and attacked because of their faith and their work sharing the gospel. Some have even had family members murdered. New converts have been subject to acid attacks, violence and exclusion from their communities.
Anti-conversion laws are now in place in five states in India. These laws target only conversion away from Hinduism, becoming a Hindu is seen rather as a ‘home-coming’. According to Open Doors, even in some states where there is currently no anti-conversion law, such as Maharashtra and Jharkhand, there are still structures in place to monitor and restrict Christians. Converts from a Hindu background often get registered as Hindus during the census, it’s difficult for them to hold a Christian wedding or to be baptised, and radical Hindus have been known to target convert’s funerals. Yet crimes against the church and Christians in the country are almost never punished. Read More