by Jordan Hilger, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – The oxygen is thinning for religious freedom in India following the reelection of the Bharatiya Janata Party in May, with six attacks on Christians recorded in Telangana State alone in July.
Over the course of just one month, a Christian family was beaten for bringing an upper-caste Hindu to the Lord, a church that had been preaching the gospel for sixteen years was demolished overnight, and a house church was driven from place to place by Hindu radicals intent on disrupting their worship.
“One day prior, Konda Naresh, who claims to be a leading member in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), threatened the believers at the construction site, saying that he will demolish the structure,” Pastor Suryam, whose Fellowship of Indigenous Gospel Churches congregation was scattered by the demolition of their building, told International Christian concern.
“There has been an increase in the aggressive nature of attacks. We attribute this to the BJP’s victory in the recent elections,” he explained, adding that the demolition was carried out clandestinely overnight “to wipe out the evidence.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bhartiya Janata Party were reelected in May after their first five-year term saw India rise eleven spots on Open Doors USA’s World Watch List, making the world’s largest democracy now the number ten worst persecutor of Christians in the world.
Pastor Israel, who was forced by persistent attacks from Hindu nationalists to close his church in Mahabubabad district, was not even able to relocate his congregation to a private house setting, as the radicals tracked the worshipers and continued to prevent them from meeting at all.
“I went to the local police station with a lawyer for help, yet the police ignored me,” he said. “It has been very hard dealing with this situation as every door of justice seems to be closed simply because we follow a different faith.”
Pastor Suryam reported an identical experience with authorities to International Christian Concern, saying that every conventional channel of justice had been closed to him, and that he and other believers in India “have nothing more to do except to go to God in prayer.”
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