Indian religious nationalists target 30 locations where they say conversions are happening, leading to persecution of Christians

Sunday, March 22, 2020

by Jordan Hilger, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) - Christians in Utter Pradesh State, India, are experiencing a barrage of attacks after religious nationalists pinpointed 30 locations across the state where they claimed conversions to Christian faith were taking place.

A press conference by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) on February 2 has led to frequent incidents of intimidation and sabotage for pastor Ramesh Kumar, according to International Christian Concern (ICC).

“Almost daily, I encounter a situation where I am asked to stop preaching the Gospel and recant my faith in Jesus,” Pastor Kumar told ICC, the incidents ranging from "a mild warning" to "frightening physical assault."

In one incident, religious nationalists confronted Kumar and began badgering him about supposedly receiving money for performing conversions, the situation almost spiraling out of control before Kumar's Hindu landlord intervened to defend his tenant.

"God has been very faithful in every situation I have faced,” Kumar said. “I am not going to stop witnessing and will continue to serve Jesus even though things are not favorable at the moment.”

India is number 10 on Open Doors USA's World Watch List for persecution of Christians, despite the guarantee of religious freedom in its constitution, having risen 21 spots on the list since the year before religious-nationalist Narendra Modi was elected in 2014.