Hinduism is the predominant faith in India, where only 2% of the population is Christian, and so far this year there has been an increase in violent incidents inflicted on outnumbered Christians.
Open Doors USA ranks India 10th on its list of countries where persecution is taking place and spokeswoman Amy Lamb says one factor is a rise in Hindu extremist groups.
“Some of this extremist content is being fueled by social media platforms that are surfacing it and even driving increased levels of engagement with it,” she advises, “to the point that more and more people are exposed to misinformation about the influence of Christians, or religious minorities, in those communities.”
There have been attacks on individual Christians but in any other violent cases mobs have attacked churches during services.
Christians are accused of following a foreign faith, and their presence is considered bad luck, but many refuse to be stopped from living out their faith and sharing the gospel with others.
Another factor is anti-conversion laws in place in some states that make it illegal to force or entice people to convert. But the laws are vague and open to interpretation and abuse.
“It can make anything like inviting a friend over for a meal, and even mentioning your faith, or having some kind of symbol of faith in your home,” Lamb explains. “It can be perceived or misconstrued as forced conversion.”