Christians Struggle to Live Normal Lives in India, But They're Determined to Persevere, Bishop Says

Christians in India have protested this year about the lack of protection for religious minorities.Reuters

Christians are finding it difficult to live normal lives in India, the South Asian nation dominated by followers of Hinduism, a local bishop shared.

In a report from The Navhind Times, Auxiliary Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas of the city of Ranchi located in Jharkhand state in eastern India, admitted that living a Christian life in this country is not easy.

The Roman Catholic prelate shared how Christians are facing many challenges in India because of their faith, during a High Mass on St. Francis Xavier's feast at the Basilica of Bom Jesus in Old Goa last Saturday.

Christians, who comprise only 2.3 percent of the Indian population, are particularly most oppressed in northern India, Mascarenhas said, adding that evangelisation efforts in that area have been impeded.

The bishop nevertheless took pride in how Christians in India are showing their determination to persevere "faithfully until the end" despite the many challenges facing them.

He nevertheless appealed to Indian government to let Christians in the country freely practice their faith.

"Christians are the most patriotic community. I request political parties not to interfere with our educational system and religious practices. We are asking you to ensure what is guaranteed to the citizens of India by the Constitution," Mascarenhas was quoted by The Navhind Times as saying.

The bishop also urged Christians to continue doing their duties of fulfilling the ministry of Jesus Christ that has been entrusted to every faithful, even in the face of persecution and other challenges.

He also reminded Christians in India that the primary duty of every believer of Jesus is to develop godliness through walking through life with Christ. He cited the example of Roman Catholic Saint Francis Xavier, a missionary who promoted Christian evangelisation in India.

"St. Francis Xavier had set a great example of missionary work. The saint has made a huge impact on the world, and he propagated good news till his last breath. He spread the message of love and mercy in the face of great dangers of sea travel – storms and pirates – as well as the hostility of some of the local people," the bishop said.