INDIA: Violence Against Christians Escalates, But One Evangelist Continues to Recover
A new wave of anti-Christian threats and intimidation has been reported since the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) recorded a landslide victory in India’s national elections in May.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi
In just two weeks following Prime Minister Modi being sworn into office for a second term as prime minister, violence against Christians was reported in Karnataka, Jharkahnd, Haryana, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry, and Uttar Pradesh.
Since taking power in 2014, the BJP-led government has overseen a dramatic rise in Christian persecution in India. In 2014, the year the BJP took power, the Evangelical Fellowship of India (EFI) documented 147 violent attacks on Christians in India. In 2018, that number more than doubled with EFI documenting 325 violent attacks on Christians.
With the BJP securing a second five-year term in power, many Christian persecution advocacy groups are calling on Christians around the world to renew their prayers for Indian Christians and join in the care for the persecuted there.
“Hindu nationalists believe that every Indian should be a Hindu,” says Voice of the Martyrs Korea representative Hyun Sook Foley.
“That is not just the viewpoint of a small group of thugs. It is the position of the BJP and the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.”
Representative Foley notes that the anti-Christian violence is not new. She points to the case of Dr. Anjaneya Swami as one example.
Dr. Anjaneya Swami receives prayer as he recovers from a 2017 attack by Hindu nationalists which caused a brain hemorrhage and left him paralyzed on one side of his body for 18 months
Hindu nationalists attacked Dr. Anjaneya Swami in 2017 while he handed out Christian materials near a Hindu temple. When his assailants left,
“Dr. Swami was then taken to police station, where they questioned him about distributing Gospel tracts, instead of questioning the people who had beat him so severely,”
recalls Representative Foley.
The attack caused a brain hemorrhage, and one side of Swami’s body was paralyzed for 18 months. Foley said Voice of the Martyrs and its field partners never left Swami’s side, providing aid and encouragement to Swami’s family. Following multiple surgeries and two years of physical therapy, Representative Foley says Swami is steadily improving.
“We’re starting to see physical improvements two years after that attack, due to the care and prayers of Christians around the world.”
Dr. Anjaneya Swami continues to recover from a brutal beating
Individuals interested in helping to care for the families of martyrs and prisoners in India and around the world can do so through Voice of the Martyrs Korea’s Families of Martyrs and Prisoners Fund, at Money can also be sent by wire transfer to:
국민은행 463501-01-243303 예금주: (사)순교자의소리
Persons wishing to donate through wire transfer should add the phrase “Families of Martyrs and Prisoners” to ensure the funds are directed to this project.