There were 77 recorded incidents of hatred and violence against Christians in the first two months of 2019. This is up from 49 cases over the same period last year, according to the Religious Liberty Commission of the Evangelical Fellowship of India (RLC-EFI).
This tally includes two murders by Maoist militants last month, one in Odisha and one in Chhattisgarh. Christians fear that violence may increase now that elections have been scheduled to start on 11 April.
In many instances, Christians are being persecuted by those who should be protecting their rights. In Tamil Nadu, police have reportedly joined with Hindus going door-to-door telling Christians not to meet for worship.
In Uttar Pradesh, Pastor Sindhu Bharti was beaten unconscious by police after they arrested her and five other church members during a Sunday service. All six Christians were charged with intent to offend religious feelings, defiling a place of worship and rioting. The RLC-EFI documented 325 incidents against Christians in India last year – with 40% of attacks happening in Uttar Pradesh.
Sources: International Christian Concern, Release International
- Please pray for peace and protection for God’s people in India. Pray that God will renew in them a steadfast spirit (Psalm 51:10).
- Pray that the new government elected will take firm action to uphold religious freedom for all India’s citizens.
- Thank God for the overcoming faith of our Christian family in India. Many churches continue to spread the Gospel despite warnings and threats. Pray that God’s word will touch the hearts of the persecutors.
Post your prayer for India in the comments below.