Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor’s crown. Revelation 2:10 NIV
Changes are happening in India. There are numerous indications that religious intolerance is on the rise in India despite declination of this from governmental officials and national leaders.
As Christians, how are we to respond and help our fellow Christians in India?
- In response to growing discrimination and persecution, some Christians are taking to the streets of Indian states in protest.
- Some Christians have formed the NLFT, a so-called Christian political group, that practices forced conversions in order to “increase” numbers of Christians in India.
Christian terror groups are never a good idea, nor are they biblical. And I honestly don’t have an answer to whether or not protests are biblical or not.
After reviewing several Christian commentaries hoping to find a solid biblical answer, I was even more confused. I believe that both camps make good points, but I also think that perhaps both camps might pick and choose scripture to prove their stance.
Nehemiah 5:1-13 makes an excellent case in favor of protesting; those against protesting make a good point about trusting God’s sovereignty instead of what earthly governments can do.
I believe it’s a matter of conscience.
Whether you believe protesting governmental policies are “Christian” and “biblical”, or not, it’s important to remember two steps:
- Pray first. The first step for any Christian should be to take a concern to God (Psalm 107). When we first pray before we act, we are giving God the glory and we are relying on him to guide our actions. Pray for our fellow Christians in India for strength to endure increased persecution (Rev. 2:10). Pray for the nation as a whole, as well as the groups who do not like Christians (Matt. 5:38-48). Ask God to give you guidance as to what course of action you should take, and to give you the words to say if you feel God is leading you to help (Luke 12:4-12). Rely on his sovereignty in all matters. If he wanted to stop the discrimination of Christians in India this very minute, he could do so. It’s important to remember that whatever happens, God is in control (Ps. 22:28; Matt. 19:26).
- If it comes time to take action and help our fellow Christians in India, remember to be respectful of the government and its leaders. Supporting a so-called Christian terrorist group such as the NLFT is not biblical (Romans 13:1-5). God does not want us to force our beliefs on anyone (Matt. 10:11-15; Luke 9:4-5).
But I believe peaceful protesting, such as this protest that took place a couple of months ago in India helps the rest of the world learn about what is happening to Christians. As long as Christian protesters place more faith on that process rather than relying upon God’s will and ability to end persecution, then I see nothing wrong with protesting. If they did not speak up, then how would we learn?
The protesters in the video were peaceful and respectful of authority.
If you do want to take action to help Christians in India, Christian Freedom International currently has a ready-made letter for you to send to top U.S. officials. I added a praise for President Obama’s remarks to the already-written letter, and it took me less than 2 minutes to send.
Christian Freedom International also has a specific ministry to Christians in Orissa (now know as Odisha), India, where persecution of Christians is heavy.
This wraps up the focus on India, at least for now. I expect that there will be more to report on in that nation soon.
Until next time, may God keep you and bless you.