Himachal Pradesh, India
Anti-Christian extremists have released the more than 60 Christians they kidnapped on February 27 in Himachal Pradesh, India. None of the Christians were harmed during their ordeal, and none were members of GFA-related churches as was previously thought.
The kidnapped Christians were forced to endure a humiliating ceremony at a religious temple before the extremists gave them anti-Christian literature and let them go.
The radical group responsible for the kidnapping, while part of a system that keeps Dalits and other low castes in virtual slavery, covered their own agenda by publicly accusing Christian missionaries of trying to split the nation of India along caste lines.
This leader also falsely claimed that missionaries offered inducements to low-caste people to lure them into converting to Christianity. Himachal Pradesh’s ruling anti-Christian political party believes that keeping people in the traditional religion brings unity to the state, and ultimately to the entire country. It is reported that the group who kidnapped these Christians is affiliated with the political party.
It is not unusual for these extremists to kidnap believers and try to force them to bow before the statues that represent the country’s traditional gods. If the Christians refuse to bow, they risk being ostracized from society, which brings much shame in the Asian culture in which they live.
GFA’s correspondent is thankful for the prayers for these believers, and says that by God’s grace, they are safe. However, religious and political tensions in the area are still strong. Please pray that these Christians and others near them will trust in the Lord and not fear.