Photo: Richard Ijzermans
Freedom of religion in India is a fundamental right guaranteed by the country’s constitution which states that India is a secular state. Legally, every citizen has a right to practice and promote their religion peacefully.
However, a number of incidents of religious intolerance have resulted in anti-Christian riots and violence.
Source: AP In 2014, the country’s ruling party, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) under the leadership of Narendra Modi won national elections. The BJP has promoted Hindu fundamentalist groups which were previously operating in silence. The Ghar Wapsi Movement (meaning Homecoming) organized “re-conversion” exercises (re-converting non-Hindus to Hinduism) throughout the country. Organizations like the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) led these exercises.
They claim that India belongs to Hindus and have used force and violence to “reconvert.”
They have attacked both Christians and Muslims. Source: Madeeha Bakhsh PRAY:
- for the persecution, including forcible “reconversions” and vandalism of churches to stop and the current ruling party (BJP) to honor their promise to protect religious freedom. (Luke 18:7)
- for unity…all Christian denominations coming together, irrespective of their differences, on their knees bringing issues before God and taking them to the Government (John 17:23)
- for strength and endurance for the victims of persecution including a 74 year old nun who was raped when her convent was attacked(1 Cor. 16:13)
- for fundamentalist groups to experience Christ (Matt. 5:44)
- for pastors, missionaries, priests, and Christian aid workers who are targets to endure testing and for all believers to stand firm in the, for the Holy Spirit to console and the Church to shine with Christ’s light (Rom 8:26, Matt. 5:14)
by a Human Rights Advocate and Social Worker who rehabilitates trafficked women and girls in a red light district in India.