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A statue and crosses were removed from a Christian cemetery in Karnataka state last month by government officials.

The cemetery has been used for Christian burials for nearly 40 years without any previous problems. It has also been the location for some prayer gatherings over the years.

Recently, rumours were circulating that forceful conversions have been taking place at that location. Without consulting Christians in the area, government officials ordered the removal of the monuments.

According to church leaders, the move is “a blow to the communal harmony of the people in our villages” and goes against the guarantees of religious freedom in the constitution.

The Hindu nationalist BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) came to power in 2014, resulting in increased opposition to any religion other than Hinduism. The US Commission on International Religious Freedom stated in its 2019 report that “religious freedom conditions in India continued a downward trend.”

Sources: International Christian Concern, Catholic News Agency, The Christian Post

  • Pray for wisdom and discernment to be granted to the Christian leaders involved in this case as they confront the injustices of those responsible.
  • Pray the authorities will recognise the importance of upholding the constitution’s ‘freedom of belief’ for all citizens.
  • Pray for India’s Christians as they contend with increased hostility and threats.

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