04/02/2020 India (International Christian Concern) – Radical Hindu nationalists often justify their attacks on India’s Christian community because they say Indian Christians are the followers of a foreign faith and anti-nationals. Unfortunately, this hateful narrative is rarely countered by the current BJP-led government and its leader Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who share some of their ideological foundations with Hindu nationalists.
In the past six year, violent attacks on India’s Christians have skyrocketed. In 2019 alone, the Evangelical Fellowship of India documented at least 366 violent attacks on Christians and their places of worship.
In spite of this woeful treatment, India’s Christian leaders sent an open letter to Prime Minister Modi saying the Christian community would do its part to combat the deadly effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. This letter was signed by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India, the National Council of Churches in India, and the Evangelical Fellowship of India.
To slow the spread of the disease, Prime Minister Modi ordered a nationwide lockdown on March 24. According to many commentators, India has instituted the world’s strictest and most-wide-ranging Covid-19 lockdown.
As of April 1, India has 1,397 documented cases of COVID-19 and 35 COVID-19 related deaths.
In their open letter to Prime Minister Modi, dated March 27, the Christian leaders pledged to pray for the “success of initiatives so that the nation can overcome this testing time in the spirit of fraternity and equality.” The leaders also went on to say that all churches under their jurisdictions would follow the initiatives set in place by the government, adhering to social distancing and any other rules.
The Christian leaders went on to reassure Prime Minister Modi that the Christians churches he has done so little to protect are praying for him and that “God will give [him] strength to steer our country through these difficult times.”
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