Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India just wrapped up a “successful” Canadian trip. Economically, it appears Canada and India will be forging some economic partnerships. Prime Minister Harper went so far as to say, “Make no mistake, the government of Canada and Canadians overwhelmingly support and will always standby the unity and strength of India in the world — India will stay together.” (Toronto Star, April 17, 2015)
But, there is another side to Narendra Modi and his ruling party. Voice of the Martyrs (April 2015) reports,
Narendra Modi was born in 1950 and joined the RSS as a young man. The goal of this Hindu-nationalist organization is to strive for a purely Hindu nation. RSS leaders have openly cited the Nazis’ regime for racial purity as an inspiration in their campaign for religious purity. They view Christianity, Islam and Communism as evils that should be eradicated from India.
When the RSS was banned by Indira Gandhi in the 1970s, and many of its leaders were being arrested, Modi disguised himself as a Sikh to avoid arrest. He worked for many years as an RSS propagandist, gaining leadership and oration skills which he would later use in his political career with the right-wing BJP, a political arm of the RSS. He was widely criticized as Minister of Gujarat in 2002 when Hindu rioters slaughtered more than a thousand Muslims and the government did nothing.
Under Modi’s leadership, right-wing Hindu groups appear to have greater freedom to operate with impunity. In a recent newspaper article, the leader of an RSS-affiliate group spoke of a planned mass reconversion of Christians. The following statement made by Rajeshwar Singh was quoted in The Hindu newspaper: ‘On December 25, the day when Christians convert people to their religion … we will do the reverse – by converting them back to Hinduism. In two to three years, the rural hinterland will be free of Christians.” (VOM Canada, April 2015, page 11)
The same article observes that there are seven states in India that have “anti-conversion” laws in place “which carry strict penalties for those who ‘force’ or ‘entice’ anyone to leave Hinduism for another religion’” (p. 10) with forced reconversions on the rise since the BJP came to power.
Please keep our Christian brothers and sisters in India in your prayers as they experience persecution. Pray that Hindus, including Prime Minister Modi, and Muslims living in India would come to faith in the triune God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit!
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