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. Now they 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, results in the persecution of Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Jains, and others. The persecution may 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 to you Pastor Suresh. He and his church members are under attack, but the good news is that with your support we have been able to help.
The church has been meeting and holding services in a rented house because none of the church members own their homes. However, because of India’s recent anti-conversion laws, they have been shut down. 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 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.
This news prompted Pastor Suresh and his members to search for 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 raise funds and collected an impressive $8,750! This still left them $3,750 short of their goal. The great news is that you stepped forward and closed the gap and provided the additional funds needed to purchase the property. Thank you for your giving hearts!