Featured Image via Reuters/Amit Dave
During the first six months of 2017, India saw up to 410 incidents of persecution directed towards Christians – a record high, according to The Christian Post.
Based on that figure, which comes from an Open Doors report, India is on track to surpass its 2016 count of 441 reports of persecution against Christians.
The Open Doors report attributes many of the attacks to Hindu extremists who wish to see all Indians adopt their religion.
“If the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) has its way, India will soon be unified under one religion, one culture, and one language,” the report reads.
“Of course, in order for this to happen, all other religious communities – including Christians – would have to be eliminated. According to the RSS organization’s founder, M.S. Golwalker, that is exactly the plan.”
The Open Doors report goes on to quote Golwalker as stating, “the non-Hindu people in Hindustan must either adopt the Hindu culture and language, must learn to respect and revere Hindu religion, must entertain no idea but the glorification of the Hindu religion, that is they must not only give up their attitude of intolerance and ingratitude towards this land and its age-long tradition but must also cultivate the positive attitude of love and devotion instead.”
To make matters worse, according to The Christian Post, India’s governing party – the Bharatiya Janata Party – “is widely seen as the political arm” of RSS.
The Open Doors report quotes an affiliate as describing the intense nature of the attacks committed by Hindu extremists against Christians.
“When the Christians are beaten by the extremists, they receive injuries mostly on their heads or their vital body parts,” the affiliate reportedly said.
“The assaulters do not care if the person dies in the attack. They know that they will not be punished because the government will take their side. In most cases the assaulters go unpunished.”
The Christian Post cites one report of an Evangelist who was beaten by Hindu extremists with chains, stripped and forced to drink urine. In another horrific incident, Hindu extremists dug up bodies in a Christian cemetery and left them lying around the graveyard.
In addition to physical attacks, Open Doors’ report mentions 34 incidents that saw Christians forced to flee their homes as a result of Hindu extremism.
At the end of its report, Open Doors included a call for help to address the situation in India.
“Open Doors and its partners currently support tens of thousands of Indian Christians each year,” the report’s conclusion reads.
“We deliver Bibles and Christian materials, provide training, and contribute to community development through adult literacy programs, vocational education, bridge schooling for children, and urgent aid and relief for persecuted Christians,” it continues.
“Open Doors also provides legal seminars and field advocacy to help the victims of persecution.”
Learn more about Open Doors’ missionary work in India below.
If you feel impressed to support Open Doors with a donation, please visit their website here.