Hindu nationalists target Christian women and girls in India
India (MNN) — Hindu nationalists are increasingly targeting Christian women and girls in India.
In January, 40 Christians were forcibly converted to Hinduism in Madhya Pradesh. According to Voice of the Martyrs Canada ministry partners, an anti-conversion bill recently came into force in Jharkhand, a tribal area in the Christian Belt.
Without support or guidance, many new Christians are now returning to their original religion. In partnership with VOM Canada, Kiara* leads a group that comes to the aid of these persecuted believers. Listen to the full conversation here.
“Women are persecuted for their faith in Jesus. There is a very structured way to corner them and persecute them,” Kiara explains.
Radicals recently pressured a woman to deny the Lord, and she refused.
“She didn’t denounce her faith, and what was the next step? Her daughter was sold and trafficked. It was the punishment inflicted on the Christian woman because of her faith,” Kiara says.
“There is fear that if you accept Christianity we will rape your daughters, we will sell them… because you accept something that is not Indian. It is a foreign religion; it is a religion of the devil.
Sometimes the government refuses food or humanitarian aid when women admit to following Christ. “It (help) is given to her only if she denies her faith. If she doesn’t take relief, there will be no food for her or her family,” Kiara said.
Gangs of Hindu women target other believers. These gangs try to convince Christians to abandon their faith and return to Hinduism.
“It’s a Hindi term: Hari Satsang Mondu; it is a group of women who go to the villages and identify [Christians] and be like a vigilante [group] within the community,” says Kiara.
Kiara’s organization gives persecuted believers a lifeline, surrounding them with practical help and gospel hope. “We were able to energize and mobilize more women to come forward and join in creating a network,” says Kiara.
“These are the small steps we take [to help persecuted women.] One of the most important steps is to talk to these women about their rights. They have equal rights as Indian citizens.
Pray that persecuted women and girls remain firmly rooted in their faith.
Header image is a representative stock photo courtesy of VPKyriacou/Pixabay.