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ICC Note: A radical Hindu leader recently called for Christians to leave India or be forcibly expelled from the country. Om Swami Maharaj also falsely claimed  Christians were promoters of terrorism. This hate speech is just part of the increased persecution Christians have experienced in India in recent years. Often, speech like this escalated into outright violence.

06/27/2018 India (MNN) – “Leave, and leave now.” That’s the message one prominent Hindu leader is sending to Christians throughout India.

According to Open Doors USA, Hindu leader Om Swami Maharaj recently accused Christians of promoting terrorism in a video. If believers don’t leave by choice, he adds, they will be forcibly expelled from the country.

“The terrorism charge is a stretch,” says Open Doors’ David Curry, “…essentially, what they’re saying is it’s ‘un-Hindu’ behavior…‘un-Hindu’ and ‘un-Indian’ behavior is anti-state, it’s against the better needs of the state, so therefore it’s terrorism.”

Curry says the accusation is significant because “there are 65 million Christians in the country of India. They’re an important part of the community; they do a lot of charitable work, they add a lot to the fabric of life.”

The charge is certainly troubling, but it’s to be expected. Persecution against Christians has been rising steadily in India since 2014. On Open Doors’ World Watch List, the nation rose from #25 to #11 in three short years.

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