Since the election of the BJP led government, there has been a wave of attacks on Christian all across India. Many Hindu radical groups were encouraged by the election of the BJP (a Hindu nationalist group) and have now been further encouraged by the government’s unwillingness or inability to confront this wave of religious violence. Please pray that something to confront these attacks on Christians is done soon.
8/1/2014 India (Asia News) – “In Madhya Pradesh the absolute lack of political will to control the most dangerous elements encourages the Hindu fundamentalists to harass and intimidate the vulnerable Christian community,” Sajan K George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), denounces to Asia News after a series of attacks against the Christian minority in the state.
The latest episode occurred on July 27 at Nagda, a small town 55 km from Ujjain, the famous sacred city of Hinduism in Madhya Pradesh. The Sunday service – attended by about 25 people, mostly women – was stormed by about thirty activists of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and the Bajrang Dal. Accompanied by police armed with guns, they questioned Rev. Rakesh Goyal, asking if he was converting someone to Christianity.
On June 30, a group of fundamentalists disrupted a prayer meeting of an independent church and beat the pastor Chimnan Lal, insulting him for his faith and accusing him of practicing forced conversions. The police arrived only to arrest the Reverend and hold him in prison for eight hours.
On June 14, in Gayatri Nagar, about 15 Hindu extremists attacked Rev. Robin Masih and some members of the Brethren Church, leaving a prayer service. After they burned the Bible.
These radical groups, Sajan George tells Asia News, “Make false accusations of forced conversion against the Pentecostal pastors, so as to enforce the pernicious anti-conversion law that is in force in the state.”
In August 2013, the Madhya Pradesh government approved an amendment to the Madhya Pradesh Freedom of Religion Act 1986, which made the law even tougher. The amendment requires priests to provide local authorities with all the details of the person who decides to change their religion at least 30 days before the ceremony, and applies heavy fines for those who do not respect it.