By PFW Staff
India is the world's largest democracy and also the most populous Hindu nation. With the media focus given to the numerous atrocities of Islamic extremists, most people forget that Hindu nationalists and radicals are also engaged in a large-scale campaign to persecute Christians across India.
The violence that flared up in 2008 has continued across the country but is now also being carried out through a series of discriminatory laws aimed at subjugating or dismantling Christian populations.
In 2008 the state of Orissa saw a massive riot by Hindu fanatics. Attacking villagers in their homes and in the street, the Hindu bands didn't stop until they had hacked to death 500 innocent Christians in the worst wave of violence in recent memory.
Since that attack, the violence has continued, but in isolated incidents. A man beaten to death, a woman raped for being Christian, a family tortured to force them to convert.
Hundreds or perhaps thousands of stories are difficult to track as they happen in poor and less-connected areas.
Now India has applied new laws that ban religious conversions that are the result of "force, allurement or fraudulent means".
The problem with these vague terms is that threat of hellfire in the Holy Scripture has been interpreted as "force" and providing free medical care and shelter to the desperately poor and forgotten castes is seen as "allurement" despite the inhuman conditions they would otherwise face.
The states adopting these measures to prevent conversions to Christianity have large populations of low-caste Indians who are kept poor and without hope by the caste system.
The brotherhood of Christ, in which all believers are equal before God, threatens this system and its continued ability to oppress. Christianity, therefore, is opposed by the State, which encourages violence to preserve Hindu caste hierarchies.
A major international charity, Compassion, that has operated in India for the past 48 years and has a staff of 580 working across the country has managed to support 145,000 children.
Bringing $50 million per year in aid to its offices in India, it has done an incredible amount of good over its lifetime, but this is now changing.