Radical Hindus Force Christians to Reconvert

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CWN.com - About 40 Christians were kidnapped Feb. 27 by anti-Christian radicals in Himachal Pradesh, India, according to Gospel for Asia, a U.S.-based ministry that supports church workers in India.

The extremists reportedly took the Christians to a religious temple and are trying to force them to renounce Christ and return to the country's dominant faith.

Initial reports from the area indicate that some of those kidnapped are part of a Gospel for Asia-related church in the village where the kidnapping occurred.

An anti-Christian political party controls Himachal Pradesh, and it is possible that the group who kidnapped these Christians is affiliated with the political party. One of this party's goals is to convert Christians to India's predominant religion.

Refusing to Bow

It is not unusual for these extremists to kidnap believers and force them to bow before the statues that represent the country's traditional gods. If the Christians refuse to bow to the statues, they risk being ostracized from society, which brings much shame in the Asian culture in which they live.

The extremist ruling party believes that keeping people in the traditional religion brings unity to the state, and ultimately to the entire country. Since Christianity is so radically different than the other religions, a person's decision to follow Christ creates friction in families and sometimes entire villages.

GFA leaders in Himachal Pradesh ask for prayer for those who were captured, that they will stand firm in their faith, even in this difficult time. They also ask for prayer for the overall situation for Christians in this northwest Indian state.

Deadly Political Party

An anti-Christian political party controls Himachal Pradesh, and it is possible that the group who kidnapped these Christians is affiliated with the political party.

One of this party's goals is to convert Christians to India's predominant religion. It is not unusual for these extremists to kidnap believers and force them to bow before the statues that represent the country's traditional gods. If the Christians refuse to bow to the statues, they risk being ostracized from society, which brings much shame in the Asian culture in which they live.

The extremist ruling party believes that keeping people in the traditional religion brings unity to the state, and ultimately to the entire country. Since Christianity is so radically different than the other religions, a person's decision to follow Christ creates friction in families and sometimes entire villages.

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