We here at World Prophetic Ministry are deeply disturbed to learn of the recent events in India. According to reports coming from those on the continent in the religious advocacy group Alliance Defending Freedom, over the past nine months, there have been at least 60 instances of attacks against Christians by Hindus in the Indian southern states of Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala. This is a significant rise in violence compared to the same time-frame last year when only 36 such attacks were reported. This fervor of violence is most likely being fueled by the efforts of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), commonly known as the political arm of the Hindu extremist Sangh Parivar; a group of nationalist Hindu extremists started by the paramilitary group Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). According to the website Morning Star News, the hostile tone of the National Democratic Alliance government, led by the Hindu nationalist BJP, against non-Hindus, has emboldened Hindu extremists in several parts of the country to attack Christians since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took power in May 2014. RSS extremists commonly provoke Hindus at their rallies and public gatherings to cause tension in their local communities that often results in violence.
Disturbing Mob Attacks
In one disturbing case, a mob of Hindus in Veppur village, Vellore District on Sept. 13, attacked an elderly Christian woman as she took her late-evening walk. The group of Hindus was celebrating the birthday of their elephant god Ganesha. As the Hindus were carrying their idol down the road, four members of the group stopped the woman and yelled at her for using the road. “One was yelling, 'You converted to Christianity, and you are an 'untouchable' – how can you use the road when our Vinayagar (Ganesha in Tamil) is passing from here? You are impure, and now you made the road impure by walking on it,'” Christian resident Esther Moses told Morning Star News. Other members of the mob then began to attack the woman for defiling their festivities. “They became very aggressive so that they started beating her,” Moses told the news website. “The entire neighborhood belongs to nomadic tribes – they are not upper castes over us, yet the Hindu gypsies hate us and treat us like untouchables.” Christians who live in the neighborhood attempted to help the woman, but they were also attacked by the mob. India ranks 11th on Open Doors’ 2018 World Watch List of countries where Christians experience the most persecution.
Relevant Bible Passages
While persecution is certainly difficult to endure, and not something we should necessarily wish for, the Bible teaches that we should expect persecution in our lives as we follow Christ, and that such persecution will increase in frequency and intensity as the last days draw closer (John 15:18-20; 2 Timothy 3:12). Moreover, the Bible teaches that there can be a spiritual value gained by faithfully enduring persecution as this offers Christians the unique opportunity to share in fellowship with the Lord Jesus through suffering (Philippians 3:10). This is not to say we should hope for such persecution, rather that we should pray that those suffering such persecution would be able to stand fast in their faith (James 1:2-4) and show the watching world the superiority of the Christian faith (Hebrews 11:38; 1 Peter 2:23). With this in mind, let us pray for the dear Christians in India suffering an increase in persecution for their faith. Likewise, as the Bible commands, let us pray for those who are persecuting them (2 Corinthians 11:24; Romans 10:1).