As Jeremy Hunt announces review into attacks, Release says Nigeria, China and India are countries of special concern for the coming year.

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In India, attacks against Christians by Hindu nationalists are on the rise. Right-wing Hinduism which is intolerant of other faiths has been gaining ground since the BJP took power in 2014.

Violent mobs have broken up prayer meetings, several states have passed laws prohibiting so-called forced conversion (effectively outlawing all evangelism), and pastors have been attacked.

One pastor told Release how he had been thrown off a moving train for carrying Bibles in a rucksack. His attackers yelled, 'These people are spoiling our religion!' and threw him on to the platform. They fractured his skull, shoulder bone and ankle, and knocked out several teeth. The pastor continues to preach the gospel despite opposition from hard-liners.

Release is providing Bibles in local languages to replace those the militants destroy and is giving vital legal aid and support to pastors who have been arrested.


Other countries of specific concern for 2019 include North Korea, Eritrea and Pakistan, where Christian Asia Bibi is still not free to leave, despite being acquitted of blasphemy.

'Asia was considered guilty merely because she had been accused,' says Release Chief Executive, Paul Robinson. 'She was accused merely because she was a Christian.

'All too-often Pakistan's Christians are viewed as blasphemers-in-waiting, whose continued existence can no longer be tolerated. Such intolerance of so many Christians in so many countries sets the tone for 2019. We must continue to watch and pray and stand up for freedom of faith.' CR

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.