Hinduism, India’s official religion, is a complex and ancient creed that embraces an extraordinary array of beliefs.
Its caste system discriminates heavily on the basis of social status, skin colour and gender, locking millions into perpetual servitude, and prohibiting the castes from freely mixing or intermarrying.
The Dalits, at the very bottom of the caste strata, two thirds of whom are Christian, are very poor and suffer most from deliberate discrimination.
Though the Church is growing rapidly in parts of India, with large vibrant congregations, this has resulted in a corresponding increase in persecution, especially against churches engaged in evangelical activity.
Although Christians are left alone in many areas, in other regions Hindu militants have been attacking and killing them, with Orissa State continuing to see the worst anti-Christian violence.
The Hindutva movement desires to make India ‘pure’ religiously, and exerts pressure on many Christians to convert to Hinduism.
Radicals see Christianity as ‘foreign’, even though it originated in the East and has been in India for over 1,900 years!
Hindu extremists make threats, interrupt church services, beat Christians, and even destroy churches.
Unlike Australia where we take it for granted the police will intervene on behalf of those being attacked, in India (like other parts of Asia) the police often watch and do nothing.
Pray God will encourage and protect Indian Christians and strengthen them in their faith. That He will be pleased to preserve democracy in India and freedom of religion for its Christians.