In my last post, I explained that persecution has increased dramatically since Narendra Modi was elected prime minister three years ago. Undoubtedly, it’s not a coincidence that Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are avowed Hindu nationalist.
Hindu nationalist ascribe to the Hindutva ideology which seeks to create pure Hindu culture, race, and nation and they commend Hitler as a model leader to learn from. Mein Kampf became a best-seller in India in recent years with the BJP’s rise in popularity.
It’s critical that we look back on Modi and the BJP’s past, in order to understand and plot India’s trajectory for persecution in the future.
When Modi was the Chief Minister of Gujarat – a state with 70 million people – the U.S. State Department revoked his VISA. He was banned from the U.S. because of his role in the 2002 Muslim genocide. During this time, Hindu nationalists massacred more than 1,000 Muslims and forced 100,000 people from their homes.
India’s National Human Rights Commission cited evidence that the killings were premeditated and Modi’s government and police officials were complicit. They were also implicated in a massive cover-up of the state’s role in the massacre.
After the attacks, the displaced people were relocated to state-sponsored IDP camps; some of which didn’t even have water or sanitation. Modi’s emboldened police and state officials blocked charities from providing aid to the people in these camps.
Modi’s administration refused to investigate the killings and they defied a central government order to compensate the victims. They even withheld the victims’ social welfare entitlements.
Finally, in 2012, the Gujarat High Court strongly chastised Modi and the Gujarat government for their “inaction and negligence” during the violence. To date, Modi has not apologized or expressed remorse for the Gujarat killings.
The worst violence against Christians in India’s history also occurred under the BJP’s leadership.
In 2008, Hindu nationalist in Orissa, ruthlessly killed more than 100 Christians, raped numerous women, destroyed 4,640 homes and demolished 252 churches. The police and armed forces who were dispatched to protect the Christians ignored their cries, and the rampage continued unabated for almost three months!
After the mayhem, a BJP leader was charged with 11 counts of murder but was convicted on just one count and was released after paying a small fine. The Supreme Court overturned his release, but the state ignored the higher court’s ruling and he was reinstated to his post in the state parliament. The UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief who visited India after the 2008 violence reported, “impunity emboldens forces of intolerance”.
Please pray for Prime Minister Modi and the governing Indian authorities, that our Indian brothers and sisters would be able to lead quiet lives in all godliness and dignity.
First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers,
petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men,
for kings and all who are in authority,
so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.
This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,
who desires all men to be saved
and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
(1 Timothy 2:1-4)
Please share this message with your church and friends who love Jesus and pray.
grace and peace,