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India: Christians see dramatic increase of attacks in 2020, with 27 incidents in March alone

Persecution of Christians in India: there is growing fear and hatred of Christianity in India, and all too often Christians cannot rely on law enforcement and government officials for justice. Note in this story that John Prabhudoss, chairman of the Federation of Indian American Christian Organizations of North America, states: “Most Christian victims in the past could not go to the police but now it is almost certain that only victims will be charged by the police if they go to them.”

Although Christianity was brought to India by St. Thomas the Apostle, and therefore has been present on the Indian Subcontinent for nearly two thousand years, and there still exist Christian communities that St. Thomas founded, Hindu extremists claim that Christianity is an alien faith, imported from outside India and threatening to India’s traditions and culture.

The Order once again asks the government of India to move more energetically to combat the persecution of Indian Christians, and to affirm that they are full citizens of the nation and are entitled to religious freedom.

For previous ChristianPersecution.com coverage of the persecution of Christians in India, see here.

“Christians in India see dramatic increase of attacks in 2020,” by Leah MarieAnn Klett, Christian Post, April 21, 2020:

Attacks on Christians and their places of worship in India continued to escalate in both number and severity in the early months of 2020, with 27 violent incidents reported in March alone.

United Christian Forum in India, a Christian organization that advocates on behalf of Christians in India, documented 56 threats against Christians as well as 26 physical assaults between January and March of 2020.

According to UCF, these attacks took place in Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Bihar, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Telangana, and Goa. In most cases, the attacks were perpetrated by mobs objecting to Christians holding worship services.

On March 12, a mob attacked a pastor and his 6-year-old son because they were running a house church. The mob reportedly forced the pastor’s 8-year-old daughter to strip and threatened to beat her to death if she did not comply.

On March 15, a mob of 300 individuals attacked a church service in Kunda Thana, located in India’s Uttar Pradesh state. There, the pastor of the church was beaten by the police and falsely charged with using the church for criminal offenses.

Persecution watchdog International Christian Concern warns that while India’s national lockdown in response to the COVID-19 pandemic has slowed down the number of attacks on Christians, such attacks will likely return when the lockdown is eventually lifted. 

“More must be done in India to secure the rights of the country’s Christian minority and bring the perpetrators of these attacks to justice,” says ICC. 

India is ranked 10th on Open Doors USA’s World Watch List of countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian. The organization says that Christians in the country face “horrific” levels of violence from extremists, with thousands of attacks taking place every year. 

Incidents targeting Indian Christians have risen steeply since 2014, when Narendra Modi of the Bharatiya Janata Party came to power, according to Open Doors, which notes that at least one Christian was attacked every day last year.

John Prabhudoss, chairman of the Federation of Indian American Christian Organizations of North America, told The Christian Post…”Most Christian victims in the past could not go to the police but now it is almost certain that only victims will be charged by the police if they go to them.”…

According to Persecution Relief, which tracks anti-Christian persecution and harassment in India, crimes against Christians in India increased 60 percent between 2016 and 2019. The majority of these incidents have happened in Uttar Pradesh….

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