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Grace & Jay: The Cost of Standing Firm

India

(The following story is a true story. The names of the people in the story are not their real names. Three Indian children about their age are shown in the photo.)

Grace, age 10, and Jay, age 7, are a brother and sister in a very large city in India. Their father, Thomas, is a Christian pastor.

Grace and Jay’s family are “Dalits.” In the past, Dalits were called “untouchables.” Untouchables are the lowest class of people in India’s Hindu caste system. The caste system ranks families into social classes. Today the caste system is illegal, but Dalits still often suffer from poor treatment by Hindus in higher castes. A Christian in India said, “Christians have no caste; we are all brothers and sisters in Christ.”

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India: Attacks on the Rise

India

Prakash and the Bull
Prakash is a Hindu farmer in India. Hindu teachings tell of many gods, even though Hindus may believe in one main god. Hindus have great respect for idols of Hindu gods.

Prakash did not always behave well. Sometimes he drank a lot of liquor and got drunk. He attended Christian worship services from time to time. Perhaps he was looking for the truth and for answers to his problems.

One day, a stray bull wandered into Prakash’s field. Prakash threw a rock at the bull to scare it away. But Prakash was drunk, and he missed the bull. Instead he hit a Hindu idol standing at the edge of his field.

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India

India

India

HOSTILE

Capital
New Delhi is the capital of India.

Size
India is one of the largest countries in the world, in both area and population. More than 1 billion people live there.

Main Languages
Hundreds of languages are spoken in India. Hindi is a main language.

Time
At 6 a.m. U.S. Central Standard Time, it is 5:30 p.m. in India.

Interesting Fact
Indian giant squirrels have tails that are about 2 feet long. The main part of their body is a little over a foot long. The squirrels can jump about 20 feet.

History
India became an independent country in 1947. Britain ruled India before that time. Most Indians believe everyone in India should be free to practice their religious beliefs. However, in recent years, extreme Hindus have become more powerful. They would like India to be more influenced by Hindu ways and beliefs.

Religion
More than 900 million people in India follow the Hindu religion.

Persecution
Christians in many places in India are mistreated because of their faith in Christ. The persecutors know they are less likely to get punished in areas where radical Hindus are in power. Hindus accuse Christians who help the poor and needy of trying to “bribe” or “force” people to become Christians. They also attack pastors who have led Hindus to Christ. In some states of India, Hindus are trying to get the government to pass laws that will make it harder for Christians to help people.