by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) - As persecution against Christians in India intensifies, many Indian believers spent Sunday 30 January, the anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi's assassination in 1948, in prayer and fasting for peace and unity in their country, Christian Today (CT) reports.
Christians in India have come under increasing violent attack and harassment from Hindu extremists - and all the more so since the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came to power in 2014. India now ranks 10 now on the US Open Doors Watch List of top 50 countries where Christians are persecuted; prior to the election of the BJP it had ranked 31.
Numerous states in India have now brought in anti-conversion laws aimed at protecting the Hindu faith: the laws prohibit evangelization. Moreover, these laws are being abused to criminalize and falsely accuse Christians of forcibly converting Hindus, CT noted.
Nevertheless, the Open Doors Christian advocacy organization reports that the persecution of India’s Christians has increased "dramatically" even in states without anti-conversion laws: Christians have been arrested in such states simply for sharing their faith.
In a statement about the January 30 day of prayer and fasting, Dr David Landrum, director of Advocacy for Open Doors UK & Ireland said: "Indian Christians love their homeland and are as much Indian as their fellow Hindu citizens.They want to be able to live in peace and security and be able to choose their faith. On Sunday, the anniversary of Gandhi's assassination, Christians in India remembered his mantra of truth, sacrifice, non-violence, selfless service and cooperation."