|Last year’s rank||10|
|Population||1 406 632 000|
|Christians||69 494 000|
India is a diverse and democratic country – but in 2023, in some states, it’s a scary place to be a Christian. Violent persecution remains at an extreme level, and Christians still face very high pressure in all spheres of life.
Since the current government came to power in May 2014 pressure on Christians has risen dramatically. This has also seen rise in Hindutva, an ideology that believes only Hindus are true Indians, and that Christians and other religious minorities have ‘foreign’ roots and must be expelled. Hindu extremists attack others with impunity, using extreme violence in some areas.
Increasing numbers of states are also implementing anti-conversion laws, supposedly to stop Hindus being forcibly converted to other religions, but in reality, they are often used as an excuse to harass and intimidate Christians.
Believers from a Hindu background and church leaders and their families are most at risk, many facing constant pressure, physical assaults and are sometimes even killed. Being a pastor is one of the riskiest vocations in the country today. Hindu extremists target them with violent attacks to sow fear in the wider Christian community.
“God sent you as divine helpers. When everything looked dark, your prayers uplifted me.”
Mehr was nearly killed and then refused medical treatment for being a Christian.
- For a change of narrative around Indian identity that accepts minority faiths.
- For protection over church leaders and their families.
- That converts’ genuine faith would have a powerful effect on their families and neighbours.
How does Open Doors support our family in India?
Open Doors partners strengthen the Church in India by providing Bibles, emergency aid, persecution survival training, and livelihood and community development projects.