Is There Christian Persecution in India?

Is There Christian Persecution in India? March 9, 2013

Persecution is an ugly word. According to my online dictionary, it means “hostility or maltreatment, esp because of race or political or religious beliefs.”

That sounds simple enough. But, as usual, when you add politics and questions of power to the discussion, simplicity flies away. Political definitions, especially when they are trying to obscure reality, quickly become something too complicated for ordinary mortals to either understand or take action against.

Persecution, in the hands of politicians, becomes a tiny target that almost no one except the few that the politicians have decided (usually for reasons other than the persecution itself) they want to help. The reason for this is that slippery words like persecution are problems for politicians who hold the responsibility for nations and organizations in their hands.

If the definition of persecution is too easy, then they will find themselves faced with a moral responsibility to act, and actions from political units always mean committing the resources, and sometimes the lives, of their citizenry. Any good government takes care of its own people first. No head of state, either secular or religious, wants his or her options for governance directed by open-ended definitions of words like “persecution.”

This isn’t hubris. It’s necessity. Heads of state have been entrusted with the lives and well-being of their citizens. They cannot commit them wily-nily to the righting of every wrong there is. In the first place, righting every wrong is a practical impossibility. There too many wrongs for any one entity to right, even if that entity is a government. Also,  evil and cruelty are hydra-headed. Chop off one evil and two more grow in its place.

Governments are very careful about what they chose to call persecution because persecution is a loaded word that demands a morale response and moral responses lead to demands for action. Actions by government, any government, are big moves that result in endless ripples of effect that can not be either controlled or predicted.

Governments shy away from easy access to their power through words like “persecution.” They create nuances and artificial qualifications in their definitions of the word that force almost all the people who suffer real-life persecution, sometimes even to the death, outside of its meaning.

In this way, they can excuse themselves from becoming ensnared in demands for action against the hydra-headed monster of persecution of innocent people that flares continuously around the globe.

What becomes problematic in this is that they also can try to stop the rest of us from acknowledging the truth of what’s happening, as well. A lot of governments are more afraid of their own people than anything else. The more oppressive a government is, the more this is true.

They do not want their citizens going off and naming persecution as what it is because they fear what might happen if this catches on in the popular imagination. They are afraid of having to act and they fear that people who call things for what they are might involve enough other citizens in their concerns that the demands for action will get out of hand.

This critical balance between necessary government conservatism about committing itself and its citizens to causes, fights, wars and troubles that are not its own, and the clear-cut facts of merciless situations leads to almost laughable twisting and turning of language. People use the tools at their disposal, and government has legal definitions of things at its disposal.

Government can create any definition of any thing that it wants. It can call the mass murder of millions a “final solution.” It can define medical murder as “death with dignity.” It can write definitions with such pinpoint specificity that no one except those it wants to let in will fall under those definitions.

I believe that is what has happened to the word “persecution.” So many people are suffering and dying all around the globe that no government, no entity, can hope to respond to it. If any one government tries, it will end up exhausting its resources and accomplishing nothing.

This is not evil. It is necessity. It is responsible care-taking of the people whose lives are in a specific government’s hands.

However, that does not oblige you and me to go along with these pin-point definitions of persecution which defy common sense and rational thought. We are free to look at reality as it is, without the varnish of legalese. We do not have to accede our personal vision to the blinders that government wears. We can look at things as they are.

Is there Christian persecution in India? Unless a lot of sources from a lot of places are all colluding in a massive confabulation, the answer is yes.

Here are two videos I found on YouTube. The second one is an actual video of an attack on Christians which resulted in their deaths. So be warned, it’s hard to watch and not for everyone, especially children.

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5 responses to “Is There Christian Persecution in India?”

  1. Christian population of India has its roots in this soil. They are not dropped from sky or had plane crash or shipwreck while going from one unknown land to another land. Their destiny is interlinked with this land and with the local
    populations. I think they are fortunate that they are born in country India (unlike
    those unfortunate ones in neighboring countries like Pakistan) where they have
    the guarantee of equal rights, and can prosper equally if not better. The
    example is the present Defense Minister (Anthony, Ranked very highly in the
    central govt) and the air chief (Norman Anil Browne) , both holding the respective
    very sensitive positions in country’s defense simultaneously. It is the proof
    that community is believed and depended upon. No mean feat ! And this is just
    the tip of the iceberg. It is beyond doubt that extremely large populations
    from this community is doing extremely well in all sectors of national life. No
    doubt there would always be jostling between communities in various aspects for
    space and there would always be fishing in the trouble waters by all kinds of vested interest. But the community is being generally law abiding and conscientious, need to try to be MAGNANIMOUS in attitude and leave aside things that can be FORGIVEN and come out of perennial persecution mentality and carry on with new vigor and also love and respect for his fellow being. After all that is meaning of being here in this world with gratitude and joy for all the good things from above, instead of whining and complaining for things that are in the hands of Almighty.Was not suffering a history through ages , and what is new ?

  2. I’m a Christian who grew up in India. The Hindus here are EXTREMELY anti-Christian and anti-Western. I’m grateful to God that the truth is now slowly becoming common knowledge to the rest of the world. They persecute Christians terribly here despite the vast amount of help offered by Christians to poor, lower caste Hindus. God forgive them.

  3. It’s not “despite”. It’s “because”. Christians are giving Dalits hope in all sorts of ways, when Hinduism says that they should be despised and that it is right to to treat them like garbage. So the Hindus – especially of higher castes, but a lot of Dalits buy into their own victimization, alas – find Christian behaviour both vicious and corrupting.

  4. Absolutely Fabio – your correction is much appreciated. The thing that surprises me is that most persecution is funded by Hindus who make a living in Western countries. They are the ones who mostly fund right-wing Hindu movements at home yet they preach and deny that this is happening.

  5. I have lived and worked in India for quite awhile now. I love Jesus, the church and India. I believe there are pockets of persecution going on but for the most part millions and millions of Christians go to church every Sunday without any problem in India. You don’t hear that part. Many famous Hindus have come out stating all Indians have a right to convert to any religion they want. You don’t hear that part either. There is a whole lot of corruption in the Indian church and the majority of Indians absolutely refuse to clean it up. Only a few leaders are taking bold, visible stands against it. You don’t hear that part. The majority of Christian leaders live very high lifestyles, they could never attain this standard in a regular job, and most of their children attend Christian colleges in the West rather than work in their home country India reaching their own people. You don’t hear that but you will hear many Christian Indians bitterly complain constantly about foreign missionaries doing a lousy job in India. Most Christians in India don’t have a burden for their own people. Their mentality is me, my wife, and two kids. Us four and not more. This has been told to me repeatedly by Christian Indians. You don’t hear that. Americans and Indians can’t bash the Indian government and the non-believers in India, who we are called to serve, and not expect them to get a wee tee-d off. The language on American websites that serve India is offensive to non-Christians in my opinion. No wonder they don’t like Christian Americans. You don’t hear that. Americans are too gullible and naive in their giving funds to Indian Christian organizations. They rarely do their homework on how to be effective in India and most times they get ripped off. No one in America wants to hear that!!

    I don’t mind telling the story of persecution in India but I feel there isn’t any balance to it. The whole thing is one sided, in my opinion, and is driven by money. The more bad stuff that is told the more money comes in. Other faiths groups feel that it is lopsided as well. Many times persecution stories are not adequately researched for factual honesty. They are not corrected if the original story is wrong or told falsely. They are hardly ever followed up on to see the outcomes implemented by police. Yet they are swished around the globe as the God’s honest truth. The reporting of conversions, Christian work and churches is not true either many times. There is some great stuff going on in India but it really is too far and in between for a country this big. Very few Indian Christians will work in any ministry unless they get paid a salary or honorarium. Often they are for hire to the highest paying Western ministry rather than having God call them. Americans only want to hear about numbers of conversions-many are manipulated, buildings, churches, orphanages, Christian training centers, hospitals, schools and anything that they can see, touch, and report in a newsletter. These things are rarely use in such a way to further the message of Jesus Christ to be honest, but they do make loads of money for several different groups. Many of these projects are funded with free money that doesn’t have to be paid back with interest yet all other faiths must start a business the old fashion way. Instead of Christian ministry in India, we have Christian employment centers. Then we wonder why Indians, who don’t know Jesus, don’t want to have anything to do with our message?! I often wonder if we aren’t just shooting ourselves in the foot yet we need a scapegoat to blame!

    I think every religious group suffers persecution at sometime in India. This is nothing new to anyone and Christians in India are hardly the only ones to be persecuted, but they rarely stand up for wrongdoing if it is someone that is suffering from another faith.

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