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India: Pray for Presidential elections TODAY

17 July 2017

Pray for Presidential elections TODAY

Open Doors contacts have asked for prayer for the Indian Presidential elections being held today.

The candidates are Ram Nath Kovind (the ruling party BJP's candidate) and Meira Kumar (the opposition's candidate).

Ram Nath Kovind has connections with RSS, the militant Hindu nationalist group associated with the BJP. It's been reported that one of his close acquaintances has recently said, "Though Kovind has not been an active member of RSS per se, he has always been ideologically on the same boat."

Meira is a member of Indian National Congress. This party primarily endorses social liberalism, seeking to balance individual liberty, social justice, and secularism, and asserting the right to be free from religious rule and teachings. Meira has stated that she is contesting the presidential elections to fight against an ideology that has threatened to put the secular fabric of the country in danger.

The president of India is elected by an electoral college consisting of the elected members of both houses of parliament, the elected members of the legislative assemblies of the 29 states and the elected members of the legislative assemblies of the Union Territories of Delhi and Puducherry.

The primary duty of the President is to preserve, protect and defend the constitution and the law of India, which is made part of their oath (article 60 of Indian constitution). Therefore these elections are crucial, especially in the current situation where constitutional rights related to freedom of religion are violated constantly.

If Meira Kumar wins the elections, it will be a big setback for the BJP and its alliance parties. Any action taken by the executive or legislature entities of the constitution shall become law only after the President's assent. So if the BJP proposes bills like an anti-conversion law for the entire country, it is more likely that it can be rejected if Meira Kumar is President.

However, if Ram Kumar Kovind wins, which is more likely to happen looking at the present sitatuion, he could help the BJP to pass bills related to anti-conversion laws without much trouble. It would serve as an extra advantage for the BJP in executing its agenda of Hindu nationalism.

The presidential election is being held in India today, and counting will be done on 20 July 2017, five days before the incumbent President's term expires.

Please pray:

  • For wisdom for those who are voting today, and that God will lead them and guide them
  • That a President will be elected who will defend the right to freedom of religion and belief in India.

Stand with your church family in India

India is number 15 on the 2017 Open Doors World Watch List. Through local partners, Open Doors is supporting the church in India with emergency aid, advocacy support, holistic training, livelihood and community development, adult literacy programmes, and Bible distribution.

If you would like to support the work of Open Doors local partners in India, please give a gift. Every £26 could help strengthen the church to withstand persecution by training a pastor to understand the legal rights of Christians in India.

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