11/16/2023 India (International Christian Concern) — This month, five states across India will see the results of regional semi-final elections, which will then lead into the country’s general elections happening in early 2024. The results of these elections will almost certainly have a negative impact on the lives of local Christians, who are already living under harsh persecution backed by a government that should be enforcing freedom of religion.
Divisive rhetoric and comments directly opposing Christianity have already become a staple for candidates leading up to election day. At his recent election rally in Chhattisgarh, Union Home Minister Amit Shah was quoted saying, “For anyone who encourages conversion, stern action will be taken by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to prevent it.”
Chhattisgarh is already known to be among the worse states in India for Christian persecution, with many cases of violence and social boycotts against them being well documented by multiple news outlets. Persecution has only gotten worse leading up to these elections, and speeches like this one will only continue this trend.
A local believer in Chhattisgarh was recently interviewed about these events, saying, “Almost every party in the state is looking to polarize the voters based on religion. This is very unfortunate, as the struggles for Christian minorities will increase no matter what party comes to power. We are being forced to choose between the lesser of two evils.”
Chhattisgarh has seen more than 500 incidents of violence against Christians in 2023. Please continue to pray for believers there through this tumultuous election season, and beyond.