A Hindu priest in India’s Chhattisgarh state called for the beheading of Christians at a rally attended by members of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Many Christians in Chhattisgarh fear that the priest’s comments will spark a new wave of anti-Christian violence across the state.
Speaking at a rally on 1 October, Swami Parmatmanand called for the targeted killings of Christians involved in alleged forced conversions. The rally was attended by many members of the BJP, including Ramvichar Netam, Nand Kumar Sai, and Anurag Singh Deo.
Sources: The Wire, International Christian Concern
“Behead them… those who come for conversion,” Parmatmanand said to those gathered for the rally. “Now you’ll say that I am spreading hate although I’m a saint. But it’s important to ignite the fire sometimes. I am telling you; anyone who comes to your house, street, neighbourhood, village, don’t forgive them.”
Parmatmanand is a prominent Hindutva leader in Chhattisgarh and is known for his violent anti-minority rhetoric.
The rally, entitled ‘Stop Religious Conversions’, was organised by Sarwa Sanatan Hindu Raksha Manch, a coalition of Hindutva supporters in Chhattisgarh. In recent months, BJP politicians and Hindutva leaders have used the issue of religious conversions to drum up political support and anti-minority sentiments.
Across India, the false narrative of mass fraudulent conversions to Christianity and Islam is used to justify laws limiting religious freedom and anti-minority violence. In nine states where anti-conversion laws have been enacted, including Chhattisgarh, radical Hindu nationalists are allowed to terrorise religious minorities with near impunity.
Using the narrative espoused by Parmatmanand and other nationalists, radicals falsely accuse their victims of engaging in religious conversions to justify violence. Unfortunately, those accusations are often accepted by local authorities.
Let us pray.
- Pray for Swami Parmatmanand and others like him. Ask God to bring a revelation of the Lord Jesus to his life. Pray he will be blessed by the transforming power of the Holy Spirit.
- Ask the Lord to protect his children in Chhattisgarh. Although they face great opposition, pray they will not give in to fear but have a spirit of boldness.
- Thank God for evangelists and frontline workers in India. Pray the Lord may continue to be at work through them in bringing people out of darkness and into His light.