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“They threatened the pastor, ‘How dare you set up a church in our locality? This area is of upper castes. Stop running church here’”, another church leader in the region explains.
Intolerance against Christians is highest in Central and Southeast Asia, after North Korea. The situation worsens dramatically in Africa. In Europe, two people were murdered bacause of their faith last year.
Berating and slapping two pastors into signing an apology letter before police, Hindu extremists stopped a planned three-day gospel meeting in Chhattisgarh state minutes before it was to begin.
“It is a well-planned conspiracy against the Christian community”, pastor Johnson Sathyanathan, president of the Synod of Pentecostal Churches of Coimbator, says.
There has been 410 reported incidents, while there were 441 in total in 2016. “Attackers know they will not be punished”, Open Doors says.
Three months ago, Hinduist activists videotaped pastor Sultan Masih as they accused him of paying people to convert to Christianity. Family receives support of police and government.
A church leader in India explains how networks of small Christian communities apply the gospel in their local contexts. “Discipleship needs to be a very collaborative work”.
One minor was held for 25 days, another is still in custody, along with five adult volunteers.
Five incidents were reported on the same day. “Non-state actors seem to operate with impunity”, says the EFI.
Police in Bihar state this month obeyed Hindu extremist orders not to interfere as they beat a pastor and a Bible college student.
While India has always had a religiously plural ethos, contemporary India has been polarized along religious lines with the advent of the Hindu nationalist political party to power in 2014 with an absolute majority.
Government restrictions force Compassion to leave the country. Hundreds of “churches that are passionate about caring for children will still be there” for the 145,000 sponsored children, says the NGO Director in Italy, Silvio Galvano.
An in-depth interview with Vijayesh Lal of the Evangelical Fellowship India. Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh are the states were Christians face the strongest persecution.
According to Open Doors, 215 million Christians suffer “high, very high or extreme persecution”. North Korea continues at the top of the World Watch List. Africa is the region in which more Christians are killed because of their faith.
Theresa of Calcutta was well-known for her work among the poor but the New Testament teaches that every Christian is a saint, explains theologian José Hutter.
More than 150 died last week in fight between President and Vice President rival armies. Sudanese Christians are being targeted.
Nepal, Bhutan, and Myanmar have also enacted similar laws, with Nepal going so far as to include them in the recently adopted constitution.
6 in 10 slaves live in one of these five countries: India, China, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Uzbekistan.
Christians in Katholi village, Kanker District who were beaten and twice chased out from their homes by Hindu extremists.
Art For Change ten-day residency organised by UESI India (IFES). “A work of art is not Christian art because it carries with it any symbol of a cross or Jesus in it, but it should reveal the truth.”
Syria, Central African Republic, Egypt, Iraq, and Vietnam are also among the “countries of particular concern.” For the first time, Western Europe is in the list as a place that “deserve monitoring.”
In Switzerland, newly disembarked from the aeroplane, I notice certain details which had not shocked me before.
‘This song was written by one of ours, Sadhu Sundar Singh! A role model etched in each of our hearts,’ they yell at me.
All the way through that first night in India, bursts of noises from the streets climb all the way up the walls to infiltrate the badly soundproofed windows of my hotel room and arouse my Western feeling of security.
The discovery of a plane ticket to India in my letter box ten years later leaves me speechless.