Indian Christians latest victim of Hindutva-terrorism

By: News Desk
Published: 09:17 PM, 24 Dec, 2021
Indian Christians latest victim of Hindutva-terrorism
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Any religion other than Hinduism has become a liability in Modi's India. Vicious Hindutva ideology, seeking Hindu domination in India, is the chief guiding principle for the BJP-led Indian government. Under the patronage of the Indian government, Hindu terrorists threaten and kill Christians and vandalize their places of worship with sheer impunity.

Anti-Christian vigilantes are sweeping through villages, storming churches, burning Christian literature, attacking schools and assaulting worshipers. As a result, Indian Christians are forced to hide their faith or perform religious services in secrecy. Almost 300 million Indian Christians are at the receiving of Hindu-terrorism. The world must act now to halt Christian persecution; otherwise, another genocide is in making and this time Indian Christians will be the target.

Indian Christians are blamed for religious conversions. The pattern of Christian persecution is often the same. First, incite fears that these conversions are forceful, that Christians are seeking to change the character of India or that places of worship are illegal. A mob is then brought to bear on the targeted group.

To Hindu fanatics, the possibility that some Indians, even a relatively small number, would reject Hinduism for Christianity is a threat to their dream of turning India into a purely Hindu nation. Many Christians have become so frightened that they try to pass as Hindu to protect themselves.

The pressure is greatest in central and northern India, where the governing party of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is firmly in control, and where evangelical Christian groups are making inroads among lower-caste Hindus, albeit quietly. Pastors hold clandestine ceremonies at night. They conduct secret baptisms. They pass out audio Bibles that look like little transistor radios so that illiterate farmers can surreptitiously listen to the scripture as they plough their fields.'

According to a report by the human rights group, more than 300 attacks on Christians took place in the first nine months of 2021, including at least 32 in Karnataka?

The report found that of the total 305 incidents of anti-Christian violence, four north Indian states registered as many as 169 of them: 66 in BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh, 47 in Congress-ruled Chhattisgarh, 30 in tribal-dominated Jharkhand, and 30 in BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh.

At least nine Indian states have planned anti-conversion laws, including Chhattisgarh, which, activists say, has emerged as a "new laboratory" for anti-Christian hatred in India.

On November 28, 2021, a newly inaugurated church in Delhi faced disruption and vandalism in its first Sunday service when members of a militant Hindu nationalist group called the Bajrang Dal stormed the meeting.

According to local observers, the acts of violence facing Christian communities far from being random occurrences are part of a concerted campaign to inflame tensions in a bid to justify new laws restricting their worshipping activities.

Since the Hindu nationalist BJP took power in 2014, persecution against Christian and Muslim minorities has been on the increase across the country, and today, it's one of the worst countries in the world to be a Christian.

The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom. a government body, recommended that India be put on its red list for "severe violations of religious freedom".

The report also recommended that the US should impose targeted sanctions on individuals and entities responsible for severe violations of religious freedom by freezing those individuals' or entities' assets and/or barring their entry into the United States.

The Commission also urged the US government to raise religious freedom concerns in the U.S.-India bilateral relationship and highlight concerns through hearings, briefings letters, and congressional delegations.

Despite India's constitutional protections for religious freedom, approximately one-third of India's 28 states limit or prohibit religious conversion to protect the dominant religion from perceived threats from religious minorities.

While the new legislation in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh targets interfaith marriage, in particular, several other states prohibit conversion based on vague criteria including force, inducement, allurement, coercion, fraud, or misrepresentation. These anti-conversion laws are too often the basis for false accusations, harassment, and violence against non-Hindus that occur with impunity.

In many cases, authorities did not prevent these abuses and ignored or chose not to investigate pleas to hold perpetrators accountable. This contributed to increased mob attacks and a fear of reprisal against those coming forward. Religious minorities remain concerned about the potential for national anti-conversion law and additional state-level statutes.

Government officials and non-state actors continue to use social media and other forms of communication to harass and spread hatred and disinformation against minority communities including Muslims. Christians, and Dalits.

The Washington-based international persecution watchdog Open Doors, has noted that persecution of Christians in India is now "extreme' having increased significantly over the past five years, and has now 'remained relatively unchanged for the past year" adding that 'the Covid-19 pandemic has offered a new weapon for persecutor.

On October 21, the Association for the Protection of Civil Rights, United Against Hate, and United Christian Forum jointly released a fact-finding report highlighting the series of attacks on churches and hate speech against Christians across India.

The report records at least 305 incidents of violence against Christians in the first nine months of 2021 but only 30 FIRs have been registered so far in these cases. The report mentions that September alone recorded 69 such incidents, followed by 50 in August, 37 in January, 33 in July, 27 each in March. April and June, 20 in February, and 15 in May.'

Categories : South Asia