INDIA: CHRISTIAN STUDENTS FACE INCREASING PRESSURES & THREATS
India is the seventh largest country in the world and the second most populous. It is a federation with a central government in New Delhi which controls foreign affairs, the armed forces and the economy.
The constitution declares the country to be a secular state. Hindu radicals are calling to change this and make Hinduism the national religion. They also want to impose anti-conversion legislation at the national level. During the last few years, the number of violent attacks against Christians has increased drastically. Constitutional provision and Indian penal code are misused to punish Christians by falsely accusing them.
Hinduism dominates India and to expand their dominance Hindu extremists groups have established their offices across the country, including in remote villages. This is to keep close watch on Christian and their activities. Christians often run into problems when they preach and baptize people.
In recent times, attacks on Christians have been unleashed by the government using state machineries, misuse of CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation), ED (Enforcement Directorates), and other agencies to trap and imprison Christians. Conversion to Christianity is a serious crime and many Christians have been forced into re-conversion into Hinduism.
Several states of India have tribal societies. The Hindu radical movement (RSS) has successfully infiltrated these tribal societies and has turned them against Christians in those areas. Increasingly Christians, especially pastors and the tribal converts in those areas are being threatened, boycotted, raped, and even murdered or mob lynched.
A pastor from Uttar Pradesh state who came to Grace Bible College recently with two girls to be admitted in the college shared that he was in jail for three months for being accused of conversion. He also shared that his colleague pastor, who too was accused for the same, was killed in a mob lynching.
A pastor from Chhattisgarh state informed us that he was going to bring six students for admission but faced strong opposition from the community. He was threatened that he and his family would be denied education, local water supply, inheritance of possession and expulsion from the society with verbal, psychological and physical abuse.
All these things will continue as long as the present government is ruling. So we need to pray earnestly for God’s intervention so that in 2024 election, the scenario changes.
By Rev. Dr. Pramod Tantarpale, Principal, Grace Bible College, India