India Remains in Top 10 on World Watch List for Christian Persecution

Open Doors USA has again ranked the top 50 countries worldwide where Christians are persecuted for their faith. India remains at No. 10 on the 2020 World Watch List. The report estimates that 260 million Christians experience high levels of persecution—a 6% increase over 2019. Additionally, 2,983 Christians were killed for faith-related reasons, 3,711 Christians were detained without trial, arrested, sentenced and imprisoned, and 9,488 churches or Christian buildings were attacked.

The Tide operates in eight countries on three continents while sharing the Gospel in 25 languages. Besides India, three additional nations where we work are ranked on the new World Watch List for high levels of Christian persecution—Nigeria, Nepal and Bhutan. Additional countries include Albania, Kosovo, Thailand and Zimbabwe, making it possible for The Tide ministry to reach multiple people groups with the Gospel in the languages they were born to speak.

“The Tide ministry has been working in India since 1978 and today broadcasts Gospel programming in eight languages there,” said Don Shenk. “We often hear from our partner pastors, radio producers, people with boots on the ground and listeners how difficult it sometimes is to live out their faith in Christ in their own country. It can be described as always looking over their shoulder, never knowing if they should be in fear for having a Bible, attending church services or worshipping with other Christians.”

For India’s 66 million Christians, the persecution is categorized as “extreme.” According to Open Doors, “Christians in India face horrific levels of violence from extremists—thousands of attacks take place every year. Several states in India have adopted anti-conversion laws, and the ruling Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has made it clear that it wants to impose these laws nationwide. Such laws are often used as an excuse to disrupt church services and harass Christians, and make it incredibly difficult for Christians to share their faith with others. Converts to Christianity from a Hindu background are especially vulnerable to persecution and are constantly under pressure to return to Hinduism, especially through campaigns known as Ghar Wapsi (“home-coming”). They are often physically assaulted and sometimes killed.”

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