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MNN (03/15/06) – The number of Christians facing harassment and persecution is growing every day. In fact the amount of persecution has increased especially in the last 30 days.

GFA’s President KP Yohannan is confused by the number of problems their workers are facing, because many thought the change of government would give Christians more freedoms. “When the BJP government was in power, honestly, we didn’t have this much persecution. It is since the new government, the Congress government, is now in power, that we have seen such an incredible increase in persecution everywhere. And I don’t know why. Maybe when the BJP government was in power they were more sensitive to toward portraying minorities in the light of the international community. But it looks like with the Congress government, we seem to be experiencing an incredible escalation in persecution.”

Yohannan believes the extremists fear losing power over the poor. And as many people find freedom in Christ, accusations of forced conversions abound. Yohannan says, much of the persecution is because, and they see that happening as many are being liberated by Christ. Yohannan says they’re not telling them, “Hey, we’ll give you food and clothes and shelter if you become Christians.” No! It is a matter of truly demonstrating Christ’s love.

As Christians faithfully share the love of Christ and suffer because of it, Yohannan urges believers everywhere to pray. And, “don’t take these things as information and something to talk about. Rather, something that should break your heart for the brothers and sisters who are suffering.”

While many think of this as religious persecution, Yohannan doesn’t believe it. “The problem is these are extremists who (are) like the Taliban, that are taking such hatred upon themselves toward Christians. And this is a nation that is free and democratic to share their faith, and I’m quite confused in the light of the “impartial” community, why this is now happening in this measure.

According to Yohannan, many of the upper caste Hindus don’t want to see these poor people liberated and come to the place of freedom and liberty. “I personally do not believe these attacks have anything to do with religion, rather it has to do with power and hunger for control, just like we had in the United States in the days of slavery,” says Yohannan.

While the radicals claim forced conversions are the reason so many of the poor are coming to Christ, Yohannan says it’s love that’s making a difference. “The truth of the matter is what Christians are doing, and missionaries are doing, or churches are doing, is telling people about Christ who came into the world because of love to save sinners and give hope and heal the brokenhearted.”

Yohannan is asking believers to pray because he expects the violence to increase.