Christians and others in India celebrated Christmas despite fears of a backlash in some parts of the predominantly Hindu country.
The Indian government asked states to increase security for Christmas celebrations this year after recent isolated attacks on Christians in northern India. No new incidents had been reported as of late Monday.
Vigilante groups have increasingly targeted Muslims since a Hindu nationalist party came to power in India in 2014, and some Christian leaders fear the attacks may now be spreading to their community.
“The poison of polarisation has now made Christians also a target,” said Madhu Chandra, the administrator of the All India Christian Council, a national alliance that works for religious freedom and the rights of marginalised people.
This month, members of a militant Hindu group allegedly beat up a group of Catholic seminarians and priests in Madhya Pradesh state.
Police arrested one member of the group but also detained a priest, according to the Press Trust of India news agency. The priest was charged with forced religious conversion, an accusation frequently levelled against Christians in India.
In Uttar Pradesh state, an extremist Hindu organisation warned schools in the city of Aligarh against holding Christmas festivities. State police were put on alert to ensure that festivities went on without incident, Indian media reported.
Narendra Modi’s ruling Bharatiya Janata party does not condone the violence against Muslims, Christians and others, but activists say it needs to do more to stop it.
“It is not enough any more for political leaders and government leaders to make a statement against it, because the fringe is now becoming mainstream,” Chandra said. “They are beginning to dominate the narrative.”
Christians are a small minority in India, where Hindus make up 80% of the population of 1.3 billion people, and Muslims 14%.
SOURCE: Associated Press
A love letter to the viewer,
If you have not accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour, here’s how you can do so today and have a home in Heaven when you die:
- First, please understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
- Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
- Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
- Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
- Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
- If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on trusting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. You have done the most important thing in life. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to GospelLightSociety.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door“. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door, by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you!