News India | 18 June 2024

3 reasons to praise God for election results in India


Show: true / Country: India / India
On June 4, the results of the lengthy national election in India were released. And the world was shocked.

For most of the campaign and election, it was seen by many as a foregone conclusion that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), led by incumbent Prime minister Narendra Modi, would easily win another outright majority. Many observers believed this would lead to increased Hindu nationalism in India, with some even fearing the implementation of a national anti-conversion law. This has all contributed to Christian persecution in India, which ranks No. 10 on Open Doors’ 2024 World Watch List.

And yet, when the votes were tallied, the BJP was left without an absolute majority. Instead, it relied on a coalition of other parties to retain power. Which means that, though Prime Minister Modi will serve a third term, he will do so in a government with other parties that are fundamentally opposed to Hindu nationalism.

Additionally, the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA), the opposition alliance block, made a strong comeback, securing 234 seats. So, even though Modi remains in power and can continue his campaign for a Hindu nationalist agenda, Open Doors partners in India see signs of hope from this year’s election. Here are three things they tell us we can be thankful for!

1. For the first time in three elections, the BJP doesn’t have an absolute majority.

A decreasing BJP majority means issues for Indian voters have significantly changed. “It is a clear mandate from the people of India that the majority of them do not favor communal divisions but rather opt for development at all levels—individually and nationally,” says Nitya*, Open Doors’ local partner from South India.

“Over the last two terms of BJP rule, people have grown tired of hearing about ‘good days coming’ but seeing nothing tangible. Other factors such as corruption, favoritism toward certain groups or firms, inflation, ever-increasing expenses and the intense unemployment rate have either discouraged people from voting or prompted them to vote for a change.”

The lower turnout during the elections indicates that many voters have “Modi fatigue.” Prime Minister Modi’s policies and leadership style seem to have generated a feeling of exhaustion or weariness related to his policies and the BJP’s time in power.

2. There will be more checks and balances for extreme Hindu nationalist policies.

In the last 10 years, the BJP party has been either in power on its own, or part of the ruling alliance in 16 states. In 12 of these states, anti-conversion laws have been passed. These laws have curtailed the religious freedom of Indian people, including religious minorities like Christians. Believers—particularly church leaders—can be accused of violating the laws, and this can lead to arrest, detainment and even violence. The BJP government not only encouraged the implementation of these laws; they’ve been vocal about wanting to make it a national law.

The Indian elections in 2024 paved the way for a change—a much-needed reprieve for the minority community from a decade of autocracy and Hindu nationalist ideology. Now, policies will need to gain the support of a coalition, not just the leading nationalist party.

“This means that the BJP’s polarization and divisive politics against religious minorities will be less brazen at the national level,” shares Vishnu Reddy*, an Open Doors local partner from Central India. “The coalition government will be bound by the built-in system of checks and balances and any radical policies against religious minorities will see some decline at the national level, and BJP cannot dictate.”

The overall rejection of the communal agenda of BJP also gives hope for the Christians in BJP-ruled states. On one hand, it is possible that BJP may continue work on anti-Christian policies through its state government; on the other, it is also possible that they would grow reluctant to introduce anti-Christian policies and laws officially, as they would prefer to measure the consequences of their actions.

3. Religious minorities now have better chances to raise their voices and be heard.

Open Doors partners see new avenues of hope for persecuted Christians in India. There will be expanded opportunities for religious minorities to raise their voices and be heard, increasing advocacy opportunities for minorities.

“We acknowledge that the election results in India are a small step in the right direction,” Reddy says. “This is an answered prayer. The future is unknown: the BJP has won, and Hindu nationalists continue with their rhetoric, and persecution will continue—but with more ears willing to listen in government, we may have more chances of being heard.”

Paulson*, a local pastor from India and a partner of Open Doors, looks at the election results through the lens of God’s Word in Daniel 2:21: 'He changes times and seasons; he deposes kings and raises up others. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning.’”

“It is crucial for us to remain vigilant and supportive of the Christian community,” says another Open Doors partner from Northeast India, Anjhali Lhing*. “We must continue to stand together with our Christian brothers and sisters.”

Will you give thanks to God for this new hope in India, and ask that He will sustain His people, no matter what? Praise God for His provision and ask Him to protect those Christians in India who risk everything to follow Him.

Related Articles


Subscribe for our Courageous Faith email to get stories from the field and hear how you can make an impact for persecuted Christians.

Sign up