INDIA - Hindus Attack Christians

Arno Froese

Since December, Hindu vigilantes in Chhattisgarh state in eastern India, enraged by the spread of Christianity and rallied by local political leaders, have assaulted and displaced hundreds of Christian converts in dozens of villages and left a trail of damaged churches, according to interviews with local Christians and activists and as seen during a recent trip to the area.

The violence played out in one of the most culturally unique parts of India, a stretch of forested hills where missionaries from different religions and even Maoist guerrillas have long vied for the hearts and souls of Indigenous tribes. But the episode also illustrated a broader truth about India today: that antipathy toward the Abrahamic religions of Islam and Christianity—often portrayed as alien religions brought to India by its historical invaders—can be wielded as an effective mobilizing force for political ends.

On Jan. 2, members of a local Hindu group known as the Janjati Suraksha Manch stormed a Catholic church in Narayanpur town, where they destroyed statues and threw rocks through stained-glass windows. On Jan. 12, more than 200 men in Chimmdi village climbed onto the roof of the small church built by Jai Singh Potai and tore it down. Around the corner, they smashed another church and wrote on a blackboard: “If you don’t leave Christianity then the same will happen again.”

Nandini Sundar, a sociologist at the Delhi School of Economics, said the increase in conversions to Christianity in Bastar was part of the same global evangelical movement that has achieved rapid growth in other countries, including the United States and Brazil.

The latest available government statistics, from 2011, show only 1.9 percent of Chhattisgarh state is Christian, in line with the 2.3 percent, or 28 million people, across all of India who are Christians.

Dinesh Kashyap, a former member of Parliament from the BJP who lost his seat in 2019, said the situation for local Hindus was dire. Evangelists were roaming the countryside and enticing poor, gullible villagers, already converting 40 percent of them, he said.

Hindu villagers “do not want to fight anybody,” he said. “But they are very concerned about conversions. If someone in your family suddenly changes their faith, wouldn’t you find that odd? That’s how people in this region feel.”, 1 February 2023

Arno's Commentary

The issue is religion, and the majority rules. The easiest targets are church buildings, in many cases, Catholic ones. They established churches, hospitals, schools, and social help organizations, not only in India but also throughout the world.

Pew Research notes that by 2050, there will be 37 million Christians in India; that would be an 18% increase. Muslims, on the other hand—another minority religion—would account for 311 million adherents, an increase of 7.6%. Thus, the Christian religion is growing twice as fast as Islam.

Dinesh Kashyap asked a logical question, “If someone in your family suddenly changes their faith, wouldn’t you find that odd?” 

When it comes to true believers, Jesus made this prophecy: “For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household” (Matthew 10:35-36).

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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