Christians in India Experiencing Most Traumatic Persecution in a Decade

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Christians in India Experiencing Most Traumatic Persecution in a Decade

New Save the Persecuted Christians Coalition Aims to Protect Believers Worldwide Who Are Suffering Discrimination, Torture, Rape, Slavery, Banishment and Murder

WASHINGTON—A recent Christian Post report indicates that Christians in India are now experiencing the worst and most traumatic levels of persecution seen there over the past decade.

As Christian persecution continues to rise in India under the governance of a Hindu nationalist party, the Religious Liberty Commission of the Evangelical Fellowship of India says 2017 was “one of the most traumatic for the Christian community” in 10 years. Last year was the worst since 2007 and 2008, when approximately 100 Christians were killed and thousands of homes of Christians were burned down or destroyed in eastern Orissa, according to the Annual Report on Hate Crimes against Christians in India in 2017.

And these might not even reflect all instances of persecution, as the group says the list of violent occurrences is not exhaustive.

The new Save the Persecuted Christians (STPC) Coalition notes that India is ranked at No. 11 on the 2018 World Watch List from Open Doors USA, which annually ranks the worst 50 countries when it comes to persecution. The World Watch list classifies India as being a place where “extreme persecution” of Christians takes place.

Members of the newly formed STPC Coalition have a shared determination to help protect persecuted Christians worldwide who are suffering discrimination, torture, rape, slavery, banishment and murder—simply because they believe in Jesus Christ.

Raising awareness is an important step, especially as such persecution currently occurs so routinely that it rarely makes headlines. For example, according to Open Doors, 255 Christians are killed worldwide every month. 104 Christians are abducted. 180 Christian women are raped, sexually assaulted or forced into marriage. 160 Christians are detained or imprisoned without trial. And 66 churches are attacked. Every month.

The goal of the STPC Coalition is to greatly reduce—and to deter—the further, global persecution of Christians. The Coalition officially launched its efforts on Ash Wednesday with a mission to protect Christians worldwide who are suffering discrimination, torture, rape, slavery, banishment and murder—simply because they believe in Jesus Christ.

Beyond calling attention to the oppression of Christians worldwide, the immediate task is to disseminate actionable information about ways in which the American people can help those being persecuted. One of the ways Americans can help is by encouraging their worship leaders to visit the STPC Coalition’s website at www.SaveThePersecutedChristians.org, where free kits may be ordered that include an outdoor banner which can be displayed in front of their place of worship. This simple banner features the Arabic “nun” character, which has become an international symbol for the oppression of Christians ever since the Islamic State used this first letter of the Arabic word for “Nazarene” to designate homes of followers of Christ targeted for persecution.

A model for how this Coalition can work is the Save the Soviet Jewry campaign of the 1970s, which started out with banners and signage outside synagogues and churches across America and turned into a powerful political movement and catalyst for policy changes that ultimately helped free the USSR’s oppressed Jews.

In India, the violent attacks on Christians, the destruction of their property and the false accusations against them, have all risen since 2014 when the Hindu nationalist party won the general election. The STPC Coalition hopes that its efforts can result in a shift in American foreign policy toward the government of India that will address this rise in persecution so that India can transform from the world’s 11th worst place for Christians to one that affords freedom and protection to followers of Christ.

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