As I am sure most of you know, the Modi regime has been ratcheting up persecution against religious freedom in India. A government that had at one time been generally tolerant of religious freedoms in the interests of democracy and international goodwill has been overrun by fanatics who decry any faith other than Hinduism and aim to stamp it out, first by legislation and most recently by mob rule. The social and political climate in India, where fervent religious xenophobia abounds unchecked persecution toward Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Jains, and others may well soon approach the level of genocide where nationally elected Hindu extremists call on their supporters to kill non-Hindus and “protect” their country.
The only good news I have to share in this regard is that we haven’t quite gotten to that point yet, so there is still hope for positive change, which brings me to the point of my letter to you. I want to introduce you to Pastor Suresh.
He and his church members are under attack, but the good news is that we might be able to help.
They have met and held services in a rented house. But because of India’s recent Anti-Conversion laws, they have been shut down. You see, none of the church members own their homes; they are rented.
Police and militant Hindu extremists are placing social, economic, and legal pressure on landlords who are favorable to, or at least tolerant of, Christians. Quite simply, it has become too much trouble to keep them as tenants, so they kick the church out.
The good news is that this church had already registered with the government as a legally operating entity, much like many churches in the United States. This means the church as a corporation can legally own property, and according to the Indian legal council (at least for now), a legally recognized church cannot be kicked off its own property.
The response to this news prompted Pastor Suresh and his members to find a property for sale, and they found one. The sale price of the land was $13,500, but they were able to negotiate a price of $12,500. And with that, his people began to fundraise and collected an impressive $8,750! While this is good news, it still leaves them $3,750 short of their goal. Mind you, this won’t provide any funds for the construction of a building, but it will at least get them a piece of land in the church’s name and offer up some legal protection.
If this cause resonates with you, please consider giving to help them reach their goal. You can donate online here by selecting “Special Projects” and then “Church Land”, or you can mail in a check and designate it to “Church Land”.