While the source of Christian persecution in India depends on the location within the country, most of it comes from a variety of Hindu radical groups and organizations, including the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Shiv Sena and Vishya Hindu Parishad (VHP). Hindu radicals also dominate the central government in New Delhi. In Muslim-majority areas, Christians experience persecution at the hands of the Muslim majority. In the poorer regions of the country (Bihar, Jharkand and Chhattisgarh), the Naxalite movement (Maoist rebels) also persecutes Christians.
How Christians are Suffering
Because Hindu radicals view Christians as outsiders, they are experiencing increased persecution. These radicals are intent on cleansing the nation of both Islam and Christianity and employ violence to this end. Usually, converts to Christianity experience the worst persecution and are constantly under pressure to return to Hinduism. Campaigns known as Ghar Wapsi (or “homecoming”) are used to get Christians to denounce their newfound faith. These converts are often physically assaulted and sometimes killed for refusing to deny Christ. The government continues to look away when religious minorities are attacked, indicating that violence may continue to increase in the coming years.
In November 2016, a pastor and his family showed the Jesus Film to people in their village. When they returned to their home, it had been burned down.
In March 2017, U.S.-based Christian charity Compassion International ended its activities in India because of increasing governmental restrictions. Since the pro-Hindu BJP party came to power in 2014, radical Hindu groups have accused Christian charities of attempting to convert Hindus.
In May 2017, six pastors were arrested at a prayer meeting in a believer’s home in the village of Salempur in Uttar Pradesh. The pastors were charged with disturbing the peace, creating hostility between religions and attempting to incite a riot.