There is a strong parallel, at least in perceptions, between religions minorities/majorities in India and the US.
- Both countries are secular, with protections for religious freedom and expression.
- In the India, Christians are the minority, and Hindus are the majority.
- In the US, Christians are the majority, and atheists (and others) have been the minority.
- The Hindu nationalist movement (called Hinduvata) was actually initiated by Hindu atheists.
What I find very striking is this release by Federation of Indian American Christian Organizations (FIACONA), which is deeply concerned about the last Indian election, where Modi (Hinduvata) promises to install Hinduism as the official
We urge the world leaders to be cautious in their endorsement of the extremist Hindu ideology. A full endorsement of Modi’s claim to victory will jeopardize the future of almost 2000 year old church in India and will also cause tremendous disruption to the Unity of India as a one nation state envisioned by Mahatma Gandhi.
While we are concerned for the future of the church in India we are also concerned about the very survival of the Constitution of the Republic that guarantees equality and freedom of religion, expression and association to every citizen. Under a new “Hindu Constitution” which Modi and his party wants to implement, all these freedoms we take for granted may not exist. The BJP and Mr. Modi needed a two third majority in the Parliament in their scheme to replace the Constitution. They do have that strength in the Parliament now. Other requirements to change the Constitution are already in place.
This is a legitimate and right call for secularism by Indian Christians in America. The concerns motivating this are very similar to the concerns of atheists in the US. For those who care about the Church abroad, the best protections for everyone, especially the persecuted Church, is secular government. What is good for India is good for the US here, and I hope more of us can grow consistent in this.