Pastor Raju Prassad recently gave details to International Christian Concern, a persecution watchdog charity, of an attack on his congregation that happened in July. Pastor Prassad was leading a prayer meeting at his small house-church in Kanshiram Colony in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh.
Persecution started with Hindu nationalists physically and verbally abusing a few women and two men on their way to the prayer meeting. When they reached the house, they dragged Pastor Prassad out and beat him. The police arrived and then proceeded to arrest the pastor and his fellow church members where they spent five hours at the police station.
The Hindu nationalists continued to beat Pastor Prassad at the police station. In some states in India, including Uttar Pradesh, it is illegal to coerce or allure someone into religious conversion. Anti-conversion laws are often used by Hindu activists to press false cases against Christian leaders.
The police investigated the forcible conversion charges and eventually cleared Pastor Prassad and his fellow members. However, no actions were taken to punish the nationalists for their brutality.
According to Open Doors World Watch List, India is the 10th worst country in the world when it comes to Christian persecution. They report that “Since the current ruling party took power in 2014, attacks have increased, and Hindu radicals believe they can attack Christians with no consequences. As a result, Christians have been targeted by Hindu nationalist extremists more and more each year. The view of the nationalists is that to be Indian is to be Hindu, so any other faith—including Christianity—is considered non-Indian. Additionally, in some regions of the country, converts to Christianity from Hinduism experience extreme persecution, discrimination and violence.”
Relevant Scriptural Passages
As upsetting as this situation is, we are told in the pages of Scripture to expect such events as the last days draw near. Matthew 10:22 warns that Christians “shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved” (KJV). In this verse our Lord is warning His disciples, and His followers in our modern time, to prepare for persecution. This persecution will take the form of the wrath and indignation from those who reject Jesus as Lord. Yet, perseverance in the face of such anger and affliction, as we “endureth to the end” (Matt 10:22), will be the evidence of our eternal salvation.