Grace Bible College Grads Face Obstacles

On February 24, 2024, Grace Bible College held its 20th Commencement in central India with six students receiving their Bachelor of Theology degrees and nine diplomas in Biblical Studies.

Most of the graduates plan on returning to GBC to further their studies in preparation for ministry, however, they face very challenging times ahead. Religious freedom within India is at stake as never before.

The Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) mission of making Hinduism the only recognized religion in India is changing the landscape of this great nation. Just two days after GBC’s graduation, the state assembly in the northeast state of Assam passed a bill entitled “The Assam Healing (Prevention of Evil) Practices Bill, 2024” which many Christians are saying is directly aimed at stopping prayer for healing. Language within the bill may hinge on “ulterior motives” and definitions of “magical healing” practices making it difficult to nail down exactly what is punishable, see “The Assam Healing (Prevention of Evil) Practices Bill” below.

A call to prayer for India: We cannot share specifics of multiple recent events of threats and persecution of Christians in various area of India, however, this is a call to prayer for those within India dealing with this dangerous situation. Pray for our students, graduates, the leadership and faculty of GBC. Pray for Christians, pastors, churches and ministries throughout India as they navigate these growing tensions and persecution. Pray for government officials to administer justice.

The Assam Healing (Prevention of Evil) Practices Bill, 2024

Language included in the bill: “No person shall take part in any sort of advertisement relating to any kind of medicine, remedy directly or indirectly relating to any false claim to cure diseases through healing practices.” Further, the bill aims to protect innocents from “evil and sinister practices thriving on ignorance and ill-health of people.”

Suggested reading for more information on religious freedom in India from the US Dept. of State IRF: https://www.state.gov/reports/2022-report-on-international-religious-freedom/india/#:~:text=Policy and Engagement-,Executive Summary, prohibits discrimination based on religion.