ARE CHRISTIANS BEING PERSECUTED IN INDIA?
From the year beginning January, 2014, up to today, I have met and talked to only two Christians. I have not gone to church or met family in the period, and my son does not count, as my children, if anything, are more Hindu than Christian. Everyone on the road I live in are either Hindu or Muslim, and the only Christian I know in Agra is my favorite bartender. So if you were to ask, “Are Christians being persecuted in India?” I must say that I would be the wrong person to answer that question.
Right off the top let me say that I have never felt persecuted because I am a Christian. Other kids loved to play marbles, tops, and cricket with me in Bombay, the education system never penalized me (in fact they may have favored me at the school level), pretty girls went out with me, even homosexuals made passes at me, at work my strike rate or average was almost as good at Donald Bradman's, which means people wanted my ideas, and my family was never isolated for being Christian, in fact before he died my father even worked for a couple of hours, four or five times a week, at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Bombay, where he earnestly helped keep the Bhavan’s Journal afloat.
Yes the same guys who published the history books that the communists hate, and no one reads.
I believe “The Christian Problem” is one of perception, more than fact. Perception, unfortunately, is more dangerous than fact, more convincing, more real, and more compelling.
Take the instance of three upstanding men in Mahuar Kherda village, Agra, who saw 12 men gambling on the road, making a nuisance of their game and themselves, and so lectured them on their anti-social behavior. Unfortunately, they were Christians, and the 12 gamblers made use of the mood in India, post Modi, to complain that they were being converted.
Two years ago they would have dispersed. Now, the gamblers continued to gamble on the street, and the three men were taken to the police station. Or take the case of the elders of Nayagaon Guladiya village who have been reading the Bible every Sunday for years, even though they are Hindus, just as I often read the Gita. The VHP and Bajrang Dal said they should stop or they would create a law and order problem, so headman Matadeen Verma told them not to gather together, but read the Bible at home.
Talk to these two groups of people and they will say they are being persecuted for being Christian, or reading a Christian book. I, however, will say it’s a perception problem. But with the BJP and RSS leadership unwilling to stop the propaganda, perception becomes reality. Fear becomes the fashion.