According to Jeff King, president, International Christian Concern at www.persecution.org, there are leaders in India who consider Christianity a "virus." They parallel it to AIDS — spreading to destroy.
Dr. Previn Togadi, influential anti-Christian spokesman, speaks out most vehemently against the Christian witness in India. He says the very presence of the Christian community is "cultural AIDS."
Edwina Throsby from Gujarat reports, "Gomet [a new Christian] is one of a growing number of Dalits who are choosing to abandon Hinduism, the religion of their ancestors, in favor of something new. By escaping Hinduism, converts hope to escape oppression. So many thousands of Dalits are changing their religion that it's being described as a 'conversion movement.'"
Dr. Togadi is incensed at such happenings. He states that it is going to destroy the multiple religions of India. It could get such a hold that the present-day India religious world would wobble out of its timely influence. He wants the status quo to remain. Dr. Togati considers any Christian witness to be taking full advantage particularly of the poor and ignorant. They are open prey to the Christian evangelists.
He states, "We are dead against conversion of any type. If I change my religion, that is a different thing. But [the Christians] are targeting [people]! They are harassing! They are planning and preparing! It is nothing but religious terrorism.
"They enhance monoculture by destroying our belief system. They did it in Europe in the first millennium. [In the] second millennium they destroyed the belief system of Africa. Third millennium, the Pope himself came and declared that I will convert Asia and India. It means they want to destroy [the] pluralistic belief system of India."
Consequently, the Religious Freedom Act has been passed this past March. Its name does not tell the truth. It is a law that "restricts the activities of missionaries and requires would-be converts to obtain permission from a magistrate."
According to information provided by Elizabeth Kendal of World Evangelical Alliance, only 0.5 percent of the India population of Gujarat is Christian. One would not consider that a threat to the status quo. Nevertheless, Dr. Togadi considers it a threat, which in fact is a compliment to the power of the gospel.
He says, "It's not a question of the number of Christians. It's the concept. It is not a number; it is a virus. A single AIDS virus is sufficient to kill a human being. So conversion is cultural AIDS, which will destroy pluralism."
There's a Christian hymn entitled, "Little Is Much If God Is in It." That is the truth in India when a mere handful of believers is such a threat to religious pluralism that one like Dr. Togadi works daily to thwart Christian evangelism. Though admitting that the Christian community is small in numbers, he declares that it is an awesome enemy, so much so as to consider it a cultural disease.
The believer must go forth then all the more, not heeding numbers but instead considering the power of one. Or two. Or three. No wonder Jesus declared, “Where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in your midst.”
Jesus ministered with a dozen for three plus years. At the cross, only a handful remained courageous. On the Day of Pentecost, only 120 stayed on their knees, empowered by the Holy Spirit. Heaven must have considered such a small number honorable. Their loyalty became the birthday of the church.
So it is today. Many times the Christian community quakes before the globe's fears. What are we going to do? Where are we going to go? What will happen to the believing cluster? We are few. The foe’s numbers are large.
That is the devil whispering to the believers. They must put the devil behind them. They must realize the power of the risen Christ … the heavenly angels attending to the believers' needs … the Father seated upon His eternal throne … countless pilgrims who have preceded us … and numberless Christians worldwide who daily see to the filling up of water cups in Jesus' name.
If the devil screams before the 0.5 percent of believers in India, how much more should the Christian rejoice in the power of Christ that is his? How much more should the believer go forth in renewed vigor, realizing that the demonic taunts are but the flip side of God's mighty acts?
Satan screams because God is working hard — though His numbers may appear meager. The numbers don't count. The power of God is what counts.
- J. Grant Swank, Jr.