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Pastor in India continues ministry in the face of escalating persecution

On February 2, leaders of the Hindu nationalist group Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) held a press conference claiming they identified 30 locations in India’s Uttar Pradesh state where religious conversions were taking place. The VHP leaders went on to say they would put a stop to these conversions in a door to door Ghar Wapsi campaign. Since this announcement, attacks on Christians and their places of worship in Uttar Pradesh have skyrocketed.


Almost every weekend since the press conference, and the announcement International Christian Concern (ICC) has received reports of Christians in Uttar Pradesh facing intimidation, harassment, arrest, or assault.

Pastor Kumar is a church planter who leads house churches in twelve villages outside of Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. In a recent interview with ICC, Pastor Kumar recalled several incidents of persecution he has experienced since the February 2 press conference.

Some days, it is only a mild warning,” Pastor Kumar said. “However, other times, it turns into a frightening physical assault.

“Things have become far more difficult for pastors like me,” Pastor Ramesh Kumar told ICC. “Almost daily, I encounter a situation where I am asked to stop preaching the Gospel and recant my faith in Jesus.”

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