India (MNN) — You know all those stories we’ve shared about persecution in India? We’ve heard many accounts of violence against those sharing the Gospel in South Asia. Haggai Institute alumna and Indian publisher Ingrid Albuquerque is sharing an insider’s perspective.
“This is all taking place in rural areas, in small villages,” she states. “There’s simply no evidence of it in the metropolitan cities, where we are able to practice our religion freely.”
Persecution or no persecution?
On the topic of persecution in India, Albuquerque says it is “more of a perception than a reality.” Violence against those sharing the Gospel peaked in 2008, she adds, when Christians were blamed for the murder of a well-known Hindu swami.
Today, Albuquerque says, “It’s more a battle of semantics than an actual fight between communities.”
However, during Modi’s first 100 days in office as India’s Prime Minister, attacks on religious minorities in rural areas became a regular occurrence.
“There have been around 600 attacks on persons from other [religious] communities,” says Albuquerque. Roughly 4,000 Christians were attacked in 200 major incidents last year.
“Many people have banished non-Hindu missionaries, and now there’s a new campaign come up,” she shares, saying the English translation of the campaign means Come Home.
“Those who converted to Christianity are being asked to return to Hinduism.”
In urban areas, like the city of Bangalore where Albuquerque’s publishing house is located, Albuquerque says Indians are more open to hearing about other faiths.
“In India, there are no problems because the spirit of people, the heart of people, is really spiritual. It’s not fanatical, it’s spiritual,” she states.
Sharing the Gospel strategically
The Haggai Institute’s training helps believers in positions of leadership share Christ within their societal context. Albuquerque says the training helped her move from “compartmentalized Christianity” to a lifestyle of sharing the Gospel.
One of the ways this took place was through Albuquerque’s biography of Basant Kumar Birla and his wife, Sarala devi. The Birla family is famous in India, and industrialist Basant Kumar Birla’s father was a close associate of Mahatma Ghandi.
Albuquerque wrote the book through the lens of God’s Word.
“The book was written in such a way that nobody could find fault with it,” she says. “And that, I will tell you, is the Haggai Institute training.”
If you’ve ever wondered how to share your faith without causing offense, consider this: “What you believe in has to become your lifestyle,” Albuquerque states. “It’s that simple. Why do we complicate it?”