During a presentation to the Kentucky Baptist Convention, Sandeep Kumar explained how Christian pastors in India are increasingly becoming the targets of religiously motivated violence. Currently, India ranks 15th on Open Door’s World Watch List that ranks the top 50 worst countries in the world for Christians. Many experts link the rise of the current BJP-led government and the dramatic increase in attacks on Christians and their places of worship. Will India finally start taking steps to reverse this trend of intolerance and violence?
08/02/2017 India (Kentucky Today) – With weapons of wood and faces obscured, the teenage boys pushed into the church hunting for their target.
The violent clip was short, but long enough for Sandeep Kumar to make his point: Persecution of Christian pastors in India is real and on the rise.
“They used to come and destroy church property, now they come and beat up the pastors,” said Kumar during a presentation for church leaders at the Kentucky Baptist Convention offices in Louisville.
Kumar’s comments led to a call to prayer and action from Doug Williams, the missions strategist for the Kentucky Baptist Convention.
“Our brothers and sisters around the world are literally laying down their lives for the gospel,” said Williams. “We must be willing to stand beside them in any way we can.”
India ranks 15th on the Open Doors World Watch List, the most accurate catalogue of its kind that grades countries on degrees of Christians persecution. North Korea is No. 1. The next nine are countries where Islam is the predominate religion.
Kumar, an Open Doors ministry partner, said he knows of six Christian pastors who are sitting in jails across India. He showed a photograph of one of them bound and chained to a wall while other alleged criminals walk freely in a common cell.
“The pastor is (seen as) more dangerous because he went to pray for a sick person, because he brings life and shares Jesus,” Kumar said.