Other believers warn that’s the wrong response to Hindu nationalism.

They wanted a party of their own.

In a Pentecostal church in a village in northwestern India, a well-known pastor announced earlier this year that the time had come. Hindus, Sikhs, and Muslims all have their respective political parties, and now Christians would too.

As the number of Christians has grown in Punjab, a northern Indian state bordering Pakistan, they’ve faced increased scrutiny, criticism, and false accusations, not to mention insulting public statements about Jesus. Christians have existed in Punjab for nearly 200 years, but Pentecostal ministries with an emphasis on signs and wonders have drawn new crowds, new converts—and a new need for political representation.

In April, pastor Harpreet Deol at Open Door Church said the United Punjab Party (UPP) would be launched under the auspices of the Pentecostal Christian Parbandhak Committee, organizing Christians into an electoral force. They would start with state elections before going national.

“Christians in Punjab aim to forge a collective voice, advocating for their concerns and promoting harmony,” the president of UPP, Albert Dua, who is Catholic, told CT. “The launch of the United Punjab Party by Christians in Punjab represents a significant step forward in the quest for political representation and protection of the rights and interests of the Christian community.”

The UPP, however, was not welcomed with open arms by Christians across the country. Some Christians in India think that politics is dirty and that Christ followers should stay out of it. But even believers who are actively involved in winning elections and advancing an agenda did not greet the creation of this new party with joy.

Pushpanathan Wilson, a Christian member …

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