Charisma Caucus

The Next World Leader to Speak to Congress Will Upset Many Christians

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been invited to speak to a joint session of Congress despite persecution of Christians under his leadership. (Reuters photo)

Speaker of House John Boehner (R-Ohio) ruffled quite a few feathers among Democrats when he invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak before a joint session of Congress.

Now it seems his successor, Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), is going to ruffle quite a few more—but this time within his own party. Friday afternoon, he announced via his official Twitter account that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address Congress on Wednesday, June 8.

A few moments later, he tweeted:

Looking forward to having @narendramodi, the leader of the world's largest democracy, visit the @uscapitol.

India is generally viewed as a democratic country, but it has a lot of problems—chief among them, the persecution of religious minorities, especially Christians. Since Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party took control of the government in May of 2014, that persecution has skyrocketed.

Open Doors, a Christian ministry dedicated to serving persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ around the world, has documented the problem—which is labels as "severe"—for many years. Although India is home to nearly 60 million Christians, they make up less than 5 percent of the the country's 1.3 billion total population.

The ministry reports "radical Hinduism, which was already present under the previous government, has increased steadily. While intolerance has risen, and minorities are constantly attacked, the central government has refused to speak out against the atrocities—thus further encouraging the radical Hindus to step up their actions. The level of impunity has gone up markedly for those who push for a completely Hindu India."

Radical Hindu nationalists have ramped up their hostility to Christians in the past two years. And now, Open Doors reports, they have begun planting spies in Christian churches to aid in plotting their attacks.

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