ADF India (23.08.2019) – In the first six months of the year 2019 there were 158 incidents of violence against Christians in 23 states of India according to the records of UCF Helpline Number 1800-208-4545. Out of the 158 incidents recorded, 130 are mob attacks against Christians assembled peacefully in a church/house-church for prayer service or intimidation and threats by a violent mob.
Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB) is severely curtailed in 23 out of 29 states in India, which means practicing one’s faith is dangerous in over 90% of India. Similarly, mob violence accounts for over 90% of the incidents.
In fact, mob violence has become a norm in our country, with no political party taking strong position against such acts of violence. Another practice that is also becoming normal is the trend of not filing first information reports (FIRs) against violent perpetrators. This is evidenced by only 24 out of 158 incidents having FIRs registered against them. Remarkably, 11 states are under the rule of so-called secular parties in comparison to 12 states that are under the rule of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA).
List of States where violence against Christians is reported: Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Goa, Gujarat. Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Puducherry, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.
Uttar Pradesh continues to witness the highest number of incidents with 32 incidents of violence reported against Christians followed by 31 incidents in Tamil Nadu. The modus operandi followed in all of these incidents is very similar. A mob accompanied by the police arrives at the prayer service, shouts slogans, and beats up the congregations which include women and children. Then the pastors are arrested or detained by the police under the false allegation of conversion.
There were 110 women and 89 children who were injured in these 158 incidents. Sadly, these incidents have become so common that nobody has publicly condemned them including political, civil society and religious leaders. There are only a few publications that give an unbiased report.
One thing that can be clearly seen is the consistent increase in violence against Christians since 2014. There were just below 150 incidents in 2014, which rose closer to 200 in 2015. In 2016, this number was over 200. The years 2017 and 2018 reached 250 and 300 respectively. Now, in 2019, there have already been 26 incidents per month in comparison to 20 incidents per month the year before.
To track violence against Christians in India please visit: https://mapviolence.in/ .