Christian Persecution In India And Around The WorldDefinitionPersecution is defined as “hostility and ill-treatment, especially because of race or political or religious beliefs.” For Christians it can come in the form of beatings, confinement, isolation, slavery, rape, loss of home or assets, severe punishment, beheading, physical torture, discrimination in education and employment, imprisonment and even death. Where and Why Is It A Problem?According to the United States Department of State, in more than 60 countries, Christians face persecution simply because of the fact that they believe in Jesus. Christian persecution happens because of many reasons but mainly because Christians live in places where other people of other religions like Islam or Hinduism are in majority and also because of the lack of human rights in other countries in the world.StatisticsEvery month around 322 Christians are killed for their faith, 214 Christian churches and properties are destroyed, and 772 forms of violence are committed against Christians around the world. At least 215 million Christians around the world faced some level of persecution in 2016.HistoryIn the first three centuries of Christianity, persecution usually came from the Roman empire. The Roman empire was generally tolerant of other religions, they usually even left the Jews alone. For the Romans, religion was was seen as something that promotes unity and loyalty to the empire. This is called pietas or piety. Cicero, a Roman politician, and lawyer wrote that if piety were to die out, unity, loyalty and justice would perish with it. The reason that the Romans hated the Christians was because they thought Christianity was one of the greatest forms of superstition and held no standard of pietas. The Romans viewed religion to be old and in line with ancient customs; new teachings such as Christianity were disregarded and distrusted.Since the fifth century, the major persecutions were because of these ten rulers or kings:Persecution under Nero Persecution under DomitianPersecution under TrajanPersecution under Marcus AureliusPersecution under Septimus SeverusPersecution under Decius (250-251)Persecution under ValerianPersecution under Maximinus the ThracianPersecution under AurelianSevere persecution under Diocletian and GaleriusWhat was common in all the persecutions under most of these rulers was that they didn’t know what to persecute Christians for or they just gave decrees to kill them for no reason. In general, the public didn’t like the government’s violence and admired the Christians for standing up to them. But most did nothing to help them out of fear of the empire.In IndiaChristian persecution has always been around in India but has steadily increased since 2014. Since May 2014, India has been led by the political party Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government, headed by Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India. As a result, fanatical Hinduism, which was already there under the earlier ruling government, has been increasing regularly. Christians get attacked, assaulted, abused or put into prison by Hindu fanatics. The level of persecutions has gone up a lot, with the Christians that converted from Hinduism getting persecuted the most. These Christians are told to return to their old religion and if they don’t, they either get assaulted or killed. Christian denominations like Protestants that send missionaries to places like India get attacked because of their engagement in outreach activities, especially in North India. Some parties have had concerns about the decreasing faith and dedication to Hinduism. Some years before, the leader of the international Hindu Council created a new goal: to make the country 100% Hindu. He states “Currently there are 82% Hindus in India, and we don’t want this number to be halved, we won’t tolerate Hindus becoming a minority in the country.”Present Day StatisticsAccording to the statistics sheet, the top ten nations where Christians found practicing their faith is the difficult are North Korea, Somalia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sudan, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Yemen and Maldives, Yemen and Eritrea. India is the fifteenth place on this list but is listed as one of the most violent places.Ever since 2014, an average of 40 incidents were reported per month in India. Of the 64 million Christians in the nation, an estimated 39 million experience firsthand prosecution.Proposed and Attempted SolutionsThere have been many attempts to stop Christian persecution but it really cannot stop until everybody in the world accepts Christianity instead of abusing it. Many Christians have raised money to get persecuted Christians out of jail, either by bribe or by bail. There have been many strikes and protests against the conditions of Christian missionaries in various countries. But until persecution stops for once and for all, there are small ways people can help. Signing petitions, donating any amount of money or clothes or even supplies for the people in villages that can’t afford it and to the Christians that are out in the trenches, volunteering with whatever you’re skillful at and praying.View 1: The Christian’s Point of ViewChristians should not be persecuted. No country is not owned by a religion; every person, every tribe, every religion, every nation is under God. That’s why nations, whether its a state of Islam or a Hindus, should not persecute Christians. Nobody has the right to abuse, assault or kill other people, even if they have different views on religion or races or castes. Everybody has the right to life and it is not up to us to decide when to take a life but up to God.Living in countries like India, Christians are expected to face persecution at some point in their lives. The Bible tells us to expect it too. In John 15: 18, 20, Jesus says “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you… If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you.” North Korea tyrannize Christians into labor camps.In Iraq, Christians have gone from 1.5 million to 300,000.Saudi Arabia Christians get charged for Apostasy (in Greek: abandonment of faith)Only 1% of Syrians at refugee camps are Christians.Christians in Pakistan face mob violence almost everyday.Islamic terror group, Boko Haram, in Nigeria massacre hundreds of thousands of Christians. So what do the experts say? The chairman of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, Leonard Leo says that the persecution Christians face is the rising and will slowly continue to rise. This is because governments are not tracking down and punishing religious violence, the way they should be doing. They should take ownership and implement the existing laws that protect us. Places where persecution will rise the most will be places like Pakistan, India, and Egypt, where there is a great amount of division.The Bible gives us different instances where God mentions he is with the persecuted. In Isaiah, there are multiple mentions; Isaiah 45: 5 “I am the LORD, and there is no other, besides me there is no God; I equip you, though you do not know me.”, in Isaiah 53: 7,8 and 10 “He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth. Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.”. Matthew 5:10 says “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”, it says that there is a home in heaven waiting for the ones that did not deny Jesus Christ but stood up for him and he is waiting for them to return home.Story 1Years ago in a tiny village in Assam, there was a family with 3 boys and 2 girls. They were Hindus until the parents came to know Christ through a missionary. When the villagers found out about this, they got together and decided to kill the missionaries and the family. So together, they marched to the family’s house and dragged the parents out right to the village center and beheaded them, right in front of the children, as a warning for anybody else that thought about converting to Christianity or any other religion. But thankfully before the kids were to be killed, their grandfather ran away with them and to keep them safe, each of them was placed in a different state in India. The youngest girl, Jyoti, traveled to the south of India to a small village in Kerala named Vennikulam and went to a school there. Now ten years later, Jyoti graduated from this school with one of the highest grades She can speak 4 different languages and play 5 different sports and also with a full sports scholarship, she got into a college to study Radiology. Isaiah 41: 10 states, “fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” God did keep His Word to Jyoti and her siblings and was with them through it all.(Jyoti: second from right)Viewpoint 2: The Radical Hinduism Point Of ViewChristians should be persecuted. “A bunch of foreigners come to our motherland, the land where our gods chose, and they start feeding lies to our people, our children and grandchildren about how there is only one God and all you have to do is believe and repent to go to Heaven. Our people slowly start to believe them and one by one start to convert. To stop this, we must persecute all Christians and chase them away from our land. To help us with this, let’s vote for a radical Hindu party as our government so they will support us.”This is probably what is going through the minds of the radical Hindus in India. Fanatical Hindus have a sense of nationalism nationalism: devotion and loyalty to one’s own country; patriotism and nationalism is always good but it could become excessive, as it did with them; this is referred to as chauvinism. “It’s a radical Hindu ideology,” said William Stark, an expert in South Asia with ICC. “If you see someone Muslim or Christian, they’re following a foreign faith, and they’re defiling India because they’re following a foreign faith.”The Bible says that we believe that Jesus died for our sins, we are saved by grace, and all we have to do is believe and repent. The Bhagavad Gita (the holy book for Hindus) is the opposite of that, it is about how lord Krishna explains the ultimate science of the universe to Arjuna. He also unveils the science of self-realization and how to attain it. They believe in karma and where a soul goes also depends on the after death rituals.India’s Supreme Court judge Justice A R Dave today said that Indians should revert to their ancient traditions, and texts such as Mahabharata and Bhagwad Gita should be introduced to children at an early age and texts such as Mahabharata and Bhagwad Gita should be introduced to children at an early age.(Article 2, highlighted points)The government has been silent concerning the RSS (the Hindus in the Indian constitution) and when the International Commission for Religious Freedom scheduled a visit to India, all their visas suddenly got denied. If you aren’t a Christian and you look at the persecution from a radical Hindus point of view, it could possibly make sense. According to Hindu fanatics, Christians are defiling the land of Hindus, they are defiling the Hindu people, they are eating beef (one of the 330 million Hindu gods is a cow), Muslims and Christians are taking over the big companies and major cities.Theological InsightsMatthew 5: 10-12 : “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.God tells us that no matter how bad we are persecuted on Earth, there will be a home in heaven, waiting for us.Matthew 5: 44 “But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you”We must love the people that want to persecute us and pray for them.1 Peter 3:14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled”We don’t have to have any worries because God will bless us for standing up for Him.1 Corinthians 4: 8-12 “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you.”It says that no matter how afflicted, perplexed, persecuted or forsaken we will feel, Jesus is in us. So even if death comes, we will have life.My ConclusionI want Christian persecution to stop but being realistic, it will never stop until Jesus comes again. Until then we must endure, not coward. We must be strong in the faith, not weak. And we all will eventually have to go into the trenches and help those that are being persecuted.RefectionAfter writing this paper, and researching everything about Christian persecution, I realized that I actually don’t know as much as I thought I did. Reading the statistics about the various ways how Christians in India and the rest of the world are getting persecuted was shocking.21 Coptic Christians are killed by Islamic State Militants because of their faith.My ActionI’m raising money for a company in India called ElevateX to help them with their projects in India.”ElevateX believes Christians should be admired as the most brilliant leaders in the most hostile places in the world. We believe every human being deserves an opportunity to live life brilliantly. We unlock the gifts and passions of every person, Generation X, Y, Z and Baby Boomers alike, so they can engage in purposeful and meaningful work.We occupy places of influence in the geographies we serve through the mediums of sport, music, film and start-up culture. We work with the US State Department and other governments to enact laws that end modern slavery.We enable entire communities to have access to clean water.We work with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to eliminate needless blindness.We work with the Google to enable kids in the remotest parts of the world to go to school.We work with the NBA to develop athletes that take them from remote farms to the NBA hardwood floors.We believe the world should lean on gospel minded leaders to demonstrate how to be successful in the world and in life.”This was written by the founder of ElevateX. Through sports, music, film and art, ElevateX reaches out to places in India where Christian missionaries cannot usually access due to religious differences.