2017 Was the Worst Year for Christian Persecution in India

A new report in The Christian Post finds that as Christian persecution continues to rise in India under the governance of a Hindu nationalist party, an evangelical group described 2017 as “one of the most traumatic for the Christian community” in 10 years. The Tide® has been sharing the Gospel in India for four decades, and reaches new and potential believers there in multiple languages.

“With a population of over 1.3 billion people, India is very densely populated,” said The Tide Director Don Shenk. “Over 2,000 of the 2,295 people groups in India are still considered unreached with the Gospel. Multiple religions are practiced throughout India, but Hinduism is the largest religion there, and only about 2 percent of the population professes to be Christians. That means there are still over 1.2 billion people in India who don’t yet know Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior! And the fact that those who do believe in Christ are experiencing persecution gives us all the more reason to pray for our brothers and sisters there.”

Since 1978, The Tide has been using radio broadcasts to share the Gospel throughout India. That ministry has grown from a single Hindi language broadcast to include radio programs in eight Indian languages, and plans are underway to reach even more people groups in the future. The programs are produced in The Tide ministry’s studio in India using indigenous ministers who can effectively communicate the message of Christ to people in their own language.

Rajesh is a regular listener to the “Aap Ke Liye” and “Shanti Data” radio programs from The Tide ministry in India.

“I am 36 years old and belong to a non-Christian family of Odisha,” Rajesh shared. “I was an alcoholic, but after listening to the radio programs and the word of God, my life has been changed. In my family, I am the only one who believes in the Lord, and because of that there are threats to attack me and kill me. It seems my own family is involved in this, but when I listen to the word of God, I am very much blessed and encouraged. Pray for me that I would leave the bad company of friends and would trust and follow the Lord.”

Like Rajesh, many others experience persecution as well. In fact, The Christian Post went on to report that last year was the worst for persecution in India since 2007 and 2008, when about 100 Christians were killed and thousands of homes of Christians were burned down or destroyed in eastern Orissa, according to the Religious Liberty Commission of the Evangelical Fellowship of India. The commission recorded at least 351 cases of violence against Christians in 2017, and the report says the actual number could be much higher, as the list is not “exhaustive.”

Christian persecution, which includes violent attacks, destruction of Christian property and false accusations, has risen since the Hindu nationalist party won the general election in 2014, the outlet added.