Bible burning in India shows hostility

SINGOTAM, India — Hindu extremists in southern India issued harsh threats to Christians distributing Bibles before snatching their car keys, taking Bibles out of their vehicle and setting the Scripture on fire, sources said.

Christians associated with Gideons International, all senior citizens, said their advanced age did not temper the vitriol they received in Singotam village, Nagar Kurnool District, in Telangana state Jan. 21. Video taken by extremists shows the group harassing and threatening Christians with bodily harm if they continued to give Bibles. The Christians had obtained permission to distribute the Bibles at a government-aided school in Singotam village from the headmaster.

The hostilities come after “one of the most traumatic” years of persecution of Christians, according to a report released in late February by the Evangelical Fellowship of India (EFI).

India ranked 11th on Christian support organization Open Doors’ 2018 World Watch List of countries where Christians experience the most persecution, up from 15th the previous year and ahead of Saudi Arabia, Nigeria and Egypt. (MS)