Voting Centers Close as India Completes National Election

05/20/2019 India (International Christian Concern) – After 39 days of elections, the voting centers in India have finally closed. Beginning on April 11, some 900 million voters have cast their ballots to elect the next national government to lead the world’s largest democracy.

According to early exit polls reported by Asia News, Prime Minister Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) look set to secure a second five-year term in power. According to a comment this morning, the prime minister told the media that he was “confident” in the victory.

Across India, religious minorities, including Christians, have been hoping there would be a change of government as a result of this election. Since the BJP and Prime Minister Modi took power in 2014, religious intolerance and attacks on minorities have skyrocketed.

Much of the increase in violence and intolerance is a result of the Hindu nationalist ideology that serves as the BJP’s political platform. According to extreme forms of this ideology, India should be recast as an explicitly Hindu nation where religious minorities are treated as second class citizens.

According to the Evangelical Fellowship of India (EFI), violence against India’s Christian community dramatically increased under five years of BJP rule. In 2014, when the BJP took power, EFI documented just over 140 violent attacks on Christians across the country. In 2018, after four years of BJP rule, EFI documented over 320 violent attacks on Christians.

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