“Balinese Hindus will kill Christian converts here and take their land,” said John Stevens, an Australian who ministers in northwest Bali. When Stevens married his Balinese wife, Made, 30 years ago, the couple fled to Australia for fear of Made’s life.“We have native Balinese who won’t pronounce they are Christian to their families for fear of expulsion,” Suryanto told Christianity Today.
And Christians’ struggles are not limited to Bali. Fellow TAI blogger Peter Berger has an excellent rundown of the persecution Christians face worldwide. While Berger finds that Christians (and other religious minorities) suffer particularly brutal treatment in Muslim-majority countries, including Pakistan and Iran, he notes that Islamic communities are hardly the only groups where one finds intolerance of Christians:
Open Doors International, an Evangelical online monitor of these developments, lists India among 50 countries where life is difficult for Christians. Hindu militants have been attacking Christian worship services and pastors, and have been driving Christians from urban homes and villages, with agencies of the state (including the police) often standing by passively.Christians are also threatened by possible prosecution for engaging in “forcible conversions” of Hindus, which is illegal and defined so vaguely that even the most innocent conversations with Hindus can cause prosecution. The overall political background is that Hindu nationalists are an important constituency of the BJP, the major opposition party. Thus Hindu nationalists, with their ideology of hindutva (Hindu religion as the core of Indian civilization), are most influential in states with BJP governments.
The entire piece is excellent and worth reading in full.One of the reasons Christianity remains the most persecuted religion is that it continues to grow throughout the world by means of conversions, upsetting old arrangements and creating pushback from members of other faiths. As missionaries and believers spread the word, communities of other faiths often see Christianity as a threat to the souls of their members and the stability of their societies.[Image of Saint Elias church in Qusayr courtesy Getty Images]