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Hands clasped in prayer, resting on an open Bible
God's Word will not return void.

Karnataka became the latest Indian state to officially pass anti-conversion legislation after the state's governor signed the law into effect on May 17th. On that same day, members of the Hindu nationalist group Bajrang Dal filed a complaint against Pastor V. Kuriyachan and his wife Selenamma, alleging that they have illegally converted more than 1,000 Hindus from the Yerava tribal community by visiting the area's coffee plantations.

The accused Christians were allegedly caught trying to get Paniyaravara Mutha and his family, recipients of their gifted Bibles, to pray with them. In a written complaint submitted to the authorities, Paniyaravara alleges that the pastor and his wife were trying to convert them, as they had apparently done to his nephew earlier.

In a video showing a group of Hindu activists entering a home to confront the Christian couple, one person can be heard demanding: "Tell us, how many people have you converted? How much money have you collected, and where are your bank accounts?" When police arrived on the scene, they arrested the two Christians and sentenced them to judicial custody for 14 days. The complainants have demanded that they be tried under the new anti-conversion legislation.

Such opposition against Christian activities in Karnataka is not new. One pastor, recounting the attacks he and his church encountered before the legislation was implemented, stated: "Now that it is passed, this law gives [Hindu nationalists] a reason to beat us and attack us. The Christians in our state are scared. We see the trend and the worst is yet to come." For more information on the persecution of Christians in India, go to our country report.

Prayerfully ask God to grant peace, wisdom and guidance to Pastor Kuriyachan and Selenamma who now must deal with these allegations. As the charges against them are brought before governing human authorities, may the truth of God's Word and His ultimate authority over all prevail. May the Lord also encourage, lead and strengthen other believers throughout India as they seek to share their faith in the midst of an antagonistic society.

Current Ministry Projects

In addition to providing persecuted Christians legal support and rehabilitation assistance, VOMC cares for children of martyrs by ensuring they have a safe home in which to be nurtured both physically and spiritually. VOMC also partners to equip Christians in India with Biblical training and offers specialized ministry to further strengthen and support marginalized, persecuted Christian women.

Project Funds: Families of Martyrs, Equipping the Saints, Legal Defence, Relief and Development, Women’s Ministry

Country Information

Designation
Persecuted

Population
1,339,330,514 (July 2021 est.)

Ethnicity (%)
Indo-Aryan (72), Dravidian (25), Mongoloid and other (3)

Religion (%)
Hinduism (79.8), Muslim (14.2), Christianity (2.3), Sikh (1.7), other (2)

Leader
President Ram Nath Kovind (2017)

Government type
Federal parliamentary republic

Legal system
Based on English common law; separate personal law codes apply to Christians, Hindus and Muslims.

Source: CIA World Factbook

Pray for India

Despite the intimidation and violence that have taken place in many of India's states, may Christians wisely yet unashamedly preach the Gospel. Pray that indigenous Christians and foreign missionaries will minister in ways that do not hint at fraudulent conversions, unmasking the intentions behind the anti-conversion legislation. Intercede for India's leaders, that they may reign with justice and righteousness.

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India News

  • Anti-Conversion Law Passes in Karnataka State
    Karnataka Legislaturive Building in Bangalore
    The Legislative Building in Bangalore, Karnataka State.
    Photo: Flickr / Avinash Bhat (cc)

    On September 28th, the Indian state of Karnataka joined several others by officially enacting laws that restrict conversion from one religion to another. The "Protection of Right to Freedom of Religion Act" o

    ...
  • Evangelist Killed by Family Members
    Man standing with arms extended, facing a brilliant light; words say, ''Welcome home.''

    On August 14th, an independent Christian evangelist, Karthridasan Madhavan, was burned to death in the Indian state of West Bengal by a mob that included some members of his own family. The victim, known as Madhavan, lived in the village of Gobindapur. He was the sole Christian in his extended famil

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  • Christian Women Released on Bail
    Women holding signs demanding freedom for Christian Dalits

    On August 18th, VOMC posted a Persecution & Prayer Alert containing a report about six Christian women in Uttar Pradesh, India, who were arrested for allegedly participating in forcible conversion activities. The allegations and resulting detainment took place after these women had gathered for a bi

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