Written by: Open Doors Southern Africa
Article source: JOY! Magazine

“Hard pressed on all sides, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.” – 2 Corinthians 4:8-9

Everyday life for Christians in urban and rural India has become an excruciating struggle to earn a living, while at the same time fighting to stay alive – all because of their faith in Jesus Christ. They must practise their faith under the radar of the far-right Hindutva organisation that now dominates the Indian public and political spheres.

An unthinkable reality
This situation seems unthinkable in the world’s largest democracy, but India is currently the tenth most dangerous country worldwide for Christians. The violent persecution of Christians in India has increased significantly during the past five years, with Hindu extremists spreading lies and propaganda to stir up hatred and violence against Christians. Their goal: To rid the country of all non-Hindu religions and eradicate the Church by the end of 2021, and they don’t hesitate to use extensive violence to achieve this goal.

This might be your last chance to speak for the Church in India!

A ‘foreign’ religion
Many Christians are threatened by extremists who say Christianity is a foreign religion, and that believers are “anti-Indian” for following Jesus. This grim situation worsened during the Covid-19 pandemic, with many believers experiencing physical attacks and being denied government food aid during the lockdown.

They don’t have a voice
Amidst the threats of propaganda, persecution, and the pandemic, the Church is being silenced. Pastor Samuel*, a local partner of Open Doors in India, says: “We must raise our voices for the persecuted Church in India, which is becoming a country where the people don’t have a voice. We cannot say anything, we cannot protest, we cannot speak. But when you speak for us, it makes a difference for those who cannot speak for themselves.”

Open Doors is standing in the gap
Through the Impact India campaign, Open Doors aims to be a voice for the Church in India – mobilising the global Church through prayer, advocacy, and financial support. Through local partners Open Doors is supporting the Church in India with emergency relief and food aid, leadership and discipleship training, investing in the next generation, the distribution of Bibles and other Christian material, socio-economic development, and more.

Helping the Church to survive
It is all thanks to the support and prayers of Open Doors’ partners that we are able to reach those most in need and provide vital practical and emotional support for persecuted believers. Pastor Samuel says: “With your help we can make an impact on more lives and rescue people who follow Jesus from starvation during the lockdown. Your support could help keep the Church alive in India – against violence, persecution, and the loss of livelihoods through Covid-19. Stand up for the truth and speak on behalf of our brothers and sisters in Christ!”

Struck down, but not destroyed
Although the Church in India is struck down, it’s not destroyed – but now is the time to act. Will you stand with them today? Visit standfortruthindia.co.za to see how you can help the Church in India survive through prayer, giving, and speaking out on their behalf, showing them that they are not forgotten by their global Church family.

*Name changed for security purposes. | Photos: © 2021 Open Doors International

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Date published: 20/07/2021

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