Saffron Flags Usher in Hindu Nationalist India Where Christians Are Not Free to Worship

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

by Jordan Hilger, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) - Christians in India are becoming more hard-pressed to find places where they can worship freely.

On July 5, three Christian leaders outside of Chennai, the capital city of the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, were called to the police station over a noise complaint, where they were berated by two hundred Hindu nationalists who had gathered for the purpose.

“Pray only with your family, your own brother and sister inside four walls of your house – if any outsider joins you, we will attack you and demolish your buildings,” the mob menaced the pastors, one of whom was the beleaguered Pastor Sekar, whose son told Morning Star News his father had gotten rid of loudspeakers three years ago due to another noise complaint.

Pandari Bai, one of the other Christian leaders brought to the station, said that her group had even begun constructing a room with soundproof glass windows and walls for private worship so as to avoid the noise offenses of which Christians are constantly accused, but that Hindu leaders nearby had done everything they could to sabotage its construction.

“Every other day, they call the police,” Bai told Morning Star News.

The pastors cited the freedom of religion guaranteed by India’s constitution as their right to worship, but were later told that political pressure had been placed on police not to deal with the harassment of the Hindu nationalist mobs that continue to disrupt Christian worship in the Chennai metropolitan area.

“Saffron flags have been posted in every corner of the city” as a sign of rising Hindutva, or India for the Hindus, ideology, Nehemiah Christie of Alliance Defending Freedom-India told Morning Star News.

[Hindu Nationalists now] enjoy impunity offered by the state government and the central government and trespass onto churches and Christian houses. The once peaceful and harmonious city has now become highly unsafe for the Christian minority,” Christie lamented.

India has become the tenth most difficult place in the world to be a Christian, according to Open Doors USA, having jumped eleven places on the World Watch list since Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party were first elected in 2014.