- 150 locations in India meet to pray for persecuted Christians
- ADF India hosts online prayer event
NEW DELHI (12 November 2020) – With more than 200 attacks on Christians in India this year so far recorded by the United Christian Forum violence monitor, violence against religious minorities has not become less despite corona related lockdowns. On the international day of prayer for the persecuted church, people from 150 locations across India came together to pray for those targeted for their faith.
“Nobody should be persecuted because of their faith. It is encouraging to see 150 people, churches, and parishes come together from different locations to pray together for their persecuted brothers and sisters. With an attack on Christians happening almost every day in India, we are not seeing much of an improvement to the situation of religious minorities in this country. The constitution of India holds a promise for the liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith, and worship for all. Yet, across the country, thousands of people are targeted for their faith. The hopes and dreams of families are shattered due to the senseless loss of lives, livelihood, and property. Days like the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church serve well to bring together a community of prayer as well as raise awareness around the true persecution that is taking place,” said Tehmina Arora, Director of ADF India.
Participation across India
A mix of 150 individuals, parishes, and churches in different locations across India met online for collective prayer and reflection on the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. Pastor Johnson Samuel of the New Life Fellowship network of churches amongst others gave a short message and prayed for the rule of law and fundamental freedoms to be upheld.
Since 2019, violence against Christians in India has risen significantly. The attacks usually take a similar shape and often the police fail to act against the mobs. A mob arrives at a prayer meeting or Christian gathering, shouts abuse, harasses and beats those in attendance including women and children. Then, the pastors or priests are usually arrested under false allegations of forced conversions. While the lock-down measures around the COVID-19 outbreak in India had brought brief relief from religious persecution to Indian minorities, violence targeting faith groups now seems to be back for the worse.
“Sadly, the daily violence and mob attacks testify to what many Christians and other religious minorities experience in India today. All people have the right to freely choose, and live out their faith. We urge the Indian government to uphold this right and do more to protect religious minorities and promote religious freedom,” said Paul Coleman, Executive Director of ADF International.