God is building his church in India, despite increased persecution

Mandatory Credit: Photo by David Pearson/REX (743376aj)
Church of our Lady of Immaculate conception in Pondicherry, India
India – 2008

Originally published in Premier Org

The number of converts to Christianity continues to rise across India, despite growing acts of violence towards believers after Hindu nationalist leader Narendra Modi was re-elected as Prime Minister.

Pastor Kumar Swamy of the All India Christian council told Premier: “One particular incident last week took place in the state of Pradesh where a church were having their prayer meeting, which was disrupted.

“Around 50 Hindu extremists were trying to stop the prayer meeting and harassed and manhandled the pastor.”

Pastor Swarmy, who is visiting the UK with religious freedom charity Release International, recalled the struggle of sharing the gospel in Indian villages and said: “I shared my testimony and a group of people started attacking me with stones, I got hurt and was bleeding. That’s the scene almost every day in the country as we share our faith.”

He continued: “But today in the same village, by God’s grace, we have around 15 churches planted.

“On one hand, there is attacks, threats and bloodshed but on the other hand, God is growing his church in the midst of this persecution and this will be the story of India.”

Christian leaders have joined together to raise their concerns for the safety of India’s Christian community following the recent election results.

Plans have been made to meet with the Prime Minister to request increased security for religious minorities.

Pastor Swarmy said: “The Christian Council is planning to lead a delegation of Christian leaders, to meet our Prime Minister, and our Home Minister, to give us protection and freedom.

“We feel it’s important to enlighten our Prime Minister, and assure him that we will be praying and standing with him that God will give him the wisdom to rule this nation with peace.”

According to Pastor Swarmy, education and an ongoing dialogue between the government and religious minorities is needed in order to bring about lasting change.

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