It’s not all about the money...or is it?
Yesterday our president sent his congratulations to Narendra Modi as he secured his second five year term as Prime Minister of India. In a wave of nationalistic fervor, Modi, the head of the BSP party, won by a landslide. His trade policies, championed by our last president, have helped propel India toward a strong rate of growth in their gross domestic product (GDP).
So you might be wisely wondering … what’s the problem? I’m glad you asked. Modi’s party, that has been so championed and even courted by our government in the last two administrations, is in reality the political arm of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)---a right wing Hindu nationalist paramilitary organization which promotes the ideology that “to be Indian is to be Hindu.”
So, there’s the problem. Anytime faith becomes inextricably linked with politics and government, issues are bound to emerge. Such has been the case in this country.
A report by the Religious Liberty Commission of India cites a significant rise in the persecution of Christians there.
"The persecution has risen from 130 incidents in 2012 to 325 last year."
Yes, you’re reading that correctly.
That’s about a 250% increase in six years. India now ranks 10th among the top 50 countries where Christians face the most extreme persecution, according to Open Doors’ 2019 World Watch List.
Maybe it’s not all about the money. Perhaps our trade with India and our government’s praise of Modi as the leader who promises to “walk with love” for the good of the nation should take a backseat to the basic human right of religious freedom.
All is not dark. There are bigger forces at play that can bring comfort to our brothers and sisters overseas.
Several years ago my wife was with a team in India. They had gone to a nice hotel in celebration of a team member’s birthday. While there, they were told that a very important rising political figure was going to be passing through. As they joined the gathering of spectators, the politician entered. It was none other than Modi himself.
He seemed to focus in on my wife. He acknowledged her and extended the customary Indian greeting. Her immediate response was to return the greeting, yet in that moment, she describes that it was as if the Holy Spirit would not allow it. Her arms were restrained, unable to respond in kind. Modi on the other hand did offer the greeting.
There is symbolic meaning behind this greeting. The exchange basically says, “The god in me bows to the god in you.” The Holy Spirit would not allow it. The Holy Spirit would not bow to the spiritual presence in Modi; however, the spiritual presence in Modi bowed to the Holy Spirit!
This gives me, and hopefully all of us, a measure of encouragement. The Holy Spirit, who resides so fervently in our brothers and sisters in India, will never bow to the spiritual presence in Modi, even when it is disguised in nationalism and accompanied by economic advantage.
The Gospel is growing rapidly in India. It will not be hindered by the ever popular Narendra Modi. This is true, even if he enjoys the praise of our own government and its leaders.
Take heart, India! It was prophesied many years ago in Revelation 11:15, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever."
Pray for our brothers and sisters in India.
FOUNDER AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR | DAVID FULLER
David is the embodiment of Answering the Call. David regards barriers, borders and obstacles as opportunities for God's power to be made known worldwide. He preaches the Gospel in underground churches in Asia, prays over rape survivors in Congo, and facilitates relief materials into the Nuba Mountains of Sudan. With David Fuller, there is no line, no point at which to stop and turn back, when God calls you to reach the ones He loves.