TAMIL NADU, India — Hindu extremism is spreading and churches in Tamil Nadu, India, that had never experienced opposition now find themselves forced out of their places of worship, sources said.
In one case Hindu extremists called praying women “prostitutes” and threatened to kill them; in another case near Chennai the state capital police went door-to-door with a radical Hindu telling people not to meet for worship; in a third case the owner of the property where the church met had to order them to vacate the property after opponents set a fire inside the building (see photo below).
The targeting of house churches in Tamil Nadu seems to be politically motivated, said Nehemiah Christie, Tamil Nadu coordinator for Alliance Defending Freedom-India, who said districts and villages where Christians had previously held peaceful prayer services were now “under the radar of Hindu extremist violence.”
India is ranked 10th on Christian support organization Open Doors’ 2019 World Watch List of the countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian. The country was 31st in 2013 but its ranking has moved higher and higher each year since Narendra Modi of the Bharatiya Janata Party came to power in 2014. (MS)