by Jordan Hilger, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) - India's Jammu and Kashmir state is now shrouded in a 105 day-long internet and communications blackout that has prevented Christians from assembling together without extreme harassment.
The measures by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Hindu nationalist government, which revoked the special constitutional status of the Muslim-majority state and severed communications, include a ban on assemblies of more than 4 or 5 people, which Christians say have been selectively applied to them.
"If Hindu temples, Gurdwaras [Sikh temples] and mosques, and pujas [Hindu worship] can take place despite the imposition of Section 144, why not Christian prayers?" Pastor Mohan Lal Kaith asked police in Jammu district after he was arrested for leading a Sunday worship service at his house church.
3 other house churches, according to Kaith, were shut down by authorities since the Indian government clamped down on separatists with Section 144 in an effort to defang the Muslim region that it views as a threat to its national sovereignty.
Kaith said that he has received numerous threats via text message over the last 6 months from Hindu paramilitary groups to the effect that all of his movements are being tracked, which the pastor confirmed by citing a neighborhood gossip chain that ensures an angry mob shows up spontaneously at all of his prayer services.
Now the normative experience for Christians across India, Christian persecution has grown in proportion to the wave of nationalist sentiment under Narendra Modi, with India now ranked 10th on the Open Doors USA World Watch List--up 21 spots from the year before Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party was elected.