Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Indian Christians

In 1947 when India and Pakistan freed themselves from the English yoke, India declared itself a 'Secular State.' This was in contrast to Pakistan a nation created as a Muslim nation.
With a large minority of Muslims, Buddhists and Christians and numbers of other smaller faiths found in the huge land mass that is India it is easy to understand why 'secular' was stressed at the nations relaunch.

However, in spite of the good intentions at the beginning India is dominated by Hinduism. This is a faith that is also representative of a nation also in that Indians are a proud people with an ancient history and proud heritage, therefore there is resistance to religions such as Islam and Christianity as 'foreign' incomers. Many in the UK would understand their feeling here, but it is doubtful those same people would feel any guilt for the Empire taking others land!

Christians have for many years operated in the Indian subcontinent, in many places they have established schools and medical centres and churches have been established in the major towns and cities for many years. However persecution has grown apace, especially in recent times, and even more so, in my opinion, for home grown Christians. Churches have been attacked and vandalised, even burnt down, individuals face persecution and churches, especially in village locations, face intimidation and assault, some people have even been killed on occasion. The local State and city authorities, the police included, instead of supporting the 'Secular State' are very often the ones behind the persecution of Christians. Personal gain, position or bribes are all involved. This leads to difficult times for those who are charged with declaring the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Two friends, Yash and Monica, have for some time been working in their homeland, alongside several friends they have seen several thousand people come to a knowledge of Christ Jesus and have been busy teaching and building these people into a new life. On many occasions they have been obstructed by the local police and now face trumped up charges, the intention being to take them away from their duty to God and kill their churches.

Yash has recently been arrested and jailed awaiting trial. With a blanket and a concrete floor for a bed he has relied on his God to see him through while Monica and others struggled to obtain bail. This was eventually obtained, with great difficulty and at much cost, yet both face the danger of trial and subsequent jail terms. This for preaching the Good News! The experience of an Indian jail is something I hope we never endure and Yash has discovered his friend Jesus did not leave him while there, but I hope we can pray he, and Monica, do not have to endure this again.

The experience of suffering is not new for Indian Christians, the knowledge of what they endure can lift us, certainly me, out of self pity! Pray for them.


Anonymous said...

Great post, mate!

Indeed, our little setbacks are nothing compared to the persecution suffered by Christian brothers and sisters in other places of the world.

I'll add them to my prayer list. Thank you for highlighting this.


Chris Jones said...

When I went to CBN studios at the beginning of this month. One of the first headlines was a story about India Church burnings. Persecution is defiantly growing there. It's really sad, I have a good Christian friend that is also a blogger who lives there.

Sidharth said...

Thanks for your prayers, Adullamite.

We mostly need it in Orissa and the northern parts of India where the persecution is severe.


lance said...

We need to pray for the persecuted church.