By Open Doors 14 May 2024 4 MIN

Spike in Christian Persecution as India Elections Continue

India is witnessing a significant rise in Christian persecution. Incidents involving physical assaults, arrests based on false allegations, Ghar Wapsi (reconversion to Hinduism), and attacks on Christian institutions have been on the rise, especially as the elections continue.

Open Doors’ local partner Priya Sharma* shares, “The elections are ongoing with campaigning and rallies in all states. Political parties and leaders are giving hate speeches and provocative statements against each other and religious minorities. We pray that individuals do not get carried away by the pompous speeches of political leaders/parties but cast their votes wisely for the betterment of the nation. And may India stand on the pillars of equality, non-discrimination, and be a place of religious tolerance.” 

The India elections are ongoing from 19 April to 1 June.

Central India

Pastor Ravi* along with a few other believers, all from Central India, were brutally attacked by religious extremists. They were then arrested on false charges of religious conversion. After a month they were all released on bail.  

Religious extremists rallied in Ravi’s village and threatened Christians there to leave Christianity, or they would lose access to water and electricity and be ostracised. According to a news outlet, extremists continued to torment Christians in the village and forcefully reconverted around 152 Christians to the Hindu religion. Many believers held onto their faith, while some feared and backed out. Still others left the village and moved to neighbouring places with their families to escape reconversion. The current situation is grim and strained. 

Ravi is under surveillance, yet he continues to visit the believers secretly, strengthening and praying with them.

Manipur Marred by Fierce Fighting

Manipur continues to witness fierce fighting between tribals and the majority community. As reported in the Times of India, before the second phase of the election, three medium-intensity blasts destroyed a bridge in Kangpokpi.

This incident comes after the first phase of polling was marred by mob violence, gun firing, and booth capturing.  

Open Doors’ Partner Priya Sharma* shares, “Incidents of persecution are reported every day. Christians are targeted all over India. There is not a single state in India that is safe for Christians. Pastors and believers are attacked, threatened, and arrested on false charges, while churches and Christian institutions are attacked or forced to close down. There is continuous hatred and discrimination against the Christian community.”  

Pray for India:

  • Pray for the Christians who have been forcefully reconverted, that they will experience God’s peace and comfort as they live under fear and constant surveillance.  
  • Pray for pastors like Ravi and other leaders who take risks in reaching out to the reconverted Christians. Pray for the churches that are closed down or disrupted due to the attacks on Christians.
  • Pray for Manipur. Even after a year, since the ethnoreligious violence broke out, the state continues to burn. Pray for peace and stability.

*Names changed for security reasons.

Stay updated with the latest prayer requests from the persecuted church.

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Strengthen the Church in India

In India, our brothers and sisters are enduring extreme persecution because they love Jesus. Their church buildings are being destroyed, they are being imprisoned and beaten, and they face constant threats from authorities and false charges of conversion.

Today, will you give help to the hurting, and strengthen our Indian family in their great time of need? 

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