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MATTHEW WEST

SOMETHING TO SAY

In India, Violence Against Believers in Jesus Christ Has Increased 57 Percent in First Two Months of This Year Alone

INDIA F 1011 Karnataka

(AsiaNews)

Year by year, India has climbed higher on the World Watch List for Christian Persecution from Open Doors USA, jumping to No. 10 overall in 2019.

The concerning ranking has come as a result of reports of violence against Christians in a heavily Hindu-influenced nation, where serving Jesus Christ is not only frowned upon, but dangerous.

Save the Persecuted Christianswhich advocates on behalf of 300 million Christians facing heavy persecution worldwide, points to coverage by CBN News over the weekend that India is seeing a “dramatic rise in persecution as more and more churches and Christians are coming under attack in 2019.” In fact, according to CBN, cases of hate and violence against India’s minority Christians have jumped 57 percent in the first two months of this year, with 77 incidents documented in January and February. 

“The fact that India is notching higher on the World Watch List is extremely concerning for our 65 million brothers and sisters in Christ living and worshipping there,” said Dede Laugesen, executive director of Save the Persecuted Christians. “Attacks have heightened over the past five years, since a radical Hindu party has controlled the government of India. Christian persecution in general is becoming more severe worldwide, but for many years, believers in India have been targeted with few consequences for the perpetrators. Open Doors USA also reports that rape is a common persecution against women in India. Besides praying for our fellow Christians in India, Americans must do what they can to advocate for their protection and ensure that attackers and rapists are held accountable.”

CBN also reported that the murders of two men in two different Indian states in February are thought to have been carried out because of their faith.

“We have recorded cases where Christians have been facing social boycott and have been excommunicated from their villages, and in a few instances have had to flee to save their lives,” Evangelical Fellowship of India’s general secretary told CBN.

Then in January, police officers arrested four women and two men during a Sunday worship service. Among the arrested was the church’s female pastor who was leading worship. She was later assaulted to the point of unconsciousness at the police station. When the officers thought she was faking being knocked out, they poured boiling tea into her mouth and poured two jugs of cold water on her face.

For believers in India and around the world, Save the Persecuted Christians seeks to bring awareness about targeted Christians through “The People of the Cross” exhibit, a series of vertical traveling banners that details Christian persecution in various countries around the world. A new panel outlining persecution in India will be added to the exhibit soon, Laugesen reported.

The exhibit’s banners feature images, facts and quotes from recent news stories about the persecution of Christians in multiple countries, such as North Korea, where Christians are tortured or worse; Syria, where Christian girls and women have been sold into sex slavery; Nigeria and East Africa, where terrorists are exterminating Christians with genocidal intent; and China, where Communists are increasingly hostile to people of faith and churches are demolished. A majority of the countries highlighted in the banners are high on Open Doors’ 2019 World Watch List.

The mission of Save the Persecuted Christians is to save lives and save souls by holding the persecutors accountable and creating costs for their crimes against humanity. To that end, it will disseminate actionable information about the magnitude of such crimes and bring to bear a movement of concerned Americans determined to hold persecutors accountable for such crimes and create real costs for perpetrating them against those who follow Jesus.

Because most of these crimes are not covered in the media, Save the Persecuted Christians developed a dedicated news aggregator—www.ChristianPersecutionNews.com—to capture current instances of persecution and to provide readers an easy way to share these heartbreaking stories with others.

Story written by Save the Persecuted Christians.