In the last one year, 325 incidents of hate crimes, violence, intimidation and harassment against Christians in India have been recorded, the Religious Liberty Commission reported.
The report showed that attempts at religious polarization are at an all-time high as general elections due in April 2019. Hate speeches have acted as a catalyst in the dividing of people along religious, ethnic and even linguistic lines.
In the subcontinent, Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu have witnessed a sudden spurt of violence against Christians.
Over 40 percent of the documented incidents (132) took place in UP making it the state where Christians were targeted the most.
UP witnessed 94 incidents in total against Christians, between the months of September and December 2018 alone. In comparison, the number of incidents against Christians recorded in the state in 2017 were only 50 for the entire year. This increase can be attributed to the targeted campaign against Christians and Congregations in Eastern UP, particularly the district of Jaunpur which by itself reported 45 incidents against the community.
TN registered 40 incidents while Telangana stood third with 24. Bihar and Jharkhand recorded 17 and 16 incidents respectively and Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh witnessed 12 incidents each, the report showed.
UP and TN together saw 81 incidents of stopping and disruption of Church worship services and prayer meetings, the most commonly recorded incidents.
Cases involving physical violence numbered 70. These cases include arrests of the victims of the violence rather than the perpetrators.
In 81 incidents Christians have been either arrested and or falsely accused or been beaten up at the same time; and in 44 incidents Christians have been threatened and harassed.
Incidents of social boycott were particularly documented from the tribal areas of Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh. The Hindu radical groups have been observed disrupting the tribal society and causing a division between tribal Christians and non-Christians.
Freedom of Religion Act which was passed and enforced in 2017 by the BJP government have been invoked and used to arrest Christians frequently in many states of the country and often a tool of harassment rather than the truth. Many arrests have been reported from Jharkhand under the Act.
The small Christian community, 2.3 percent of the 1.30 billion population, which seems to be targeted mainly on the excuse of the issue of conversion, is also a collateral victim of the hate crimes against the much larger Muslim community, which is about 15 percent.
Mob of Radicals Nearly Kill Pastor and Family in Northeast India
According to Morning Star News, a small mob of radical Hindu nationalists broke into the home of a Christian pastor in India’s Bihar state in an attempt to kill the pastor and his family. Fortunately, the mob was driven away by local villagers before they could physically harm the pastor and his family.
The attack took place at 1 a.m. on Monday, October 28. According to Morning Star News, a mob of 10 to 15 radicals brandishing swords, bricks, and metal rods surrounded the home of Pastor Palathingal Joseph Johnson in the Rajasan area of Bihar’s Vaishali District.
“Soon we heard the noise of glass breaking,” Pastor Johnson told Morning Star News. “One team climbed the roof of our house, but they could not break open the roof to enter the house. So, they twisted the aluminum corrugated sheet and entered.”
Pastor Johnson and his family, including his wife and four children, hid themselves in one of the home’s two rooms. However, the door to that room did not have a lock, so Pastor Johnson and his wife had to use their bodies to block the radicals from entering and attacking.
Pastor Johnson calls to local police went unanswered, so he called a local Christian for help. Soon, 50 local villagers arrived on the scene and drove away the radicals.
“If the attackers had managed to come into the room where the family was hiding, we would be looking at a much worse situation,” Pastor Gautam Kumar, a local activist and pastor, told Morning Star News. “I do not doubt that they would have killed the family.”
The incident has been reported to local police and a First Information Report (FIR # 427/19) has been filed. However, no arrests have been made in regards to the incident.
Attacks on Christians and their places of worship in India continue to rise in both number and severity. Since the current, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) took power in May 2014, the number of documented incidents of Christian persecution has more than doubled.
പ്രകോപനത്തിന് പ്രതികാരം: ആണ്സുഹൃത്തിന്റെ മുഖത്ത് 19-കാരി ആസിഡ് ഒഴിച്ചു
ആഗ്ര: രഹസ്യ ചിത്രങ്ങള് പ്രചരിപ്പിക്കുമെന്ന് ഭീഷണിപ്പെടുത്തിയ ആണ്സുഹൃത്തിന്റെ മുഖത്ത് 19-കാരി ആസിഡ് ഒഴിച്ചു. അലിഗഡിലെ ജീവന്ഗഡ് പ്രദേശത്താണ് സംഭവം. യുവാവിന്റെ ബന്ധുക്കളുടെ പരാതിയില് പെണ്കുട്ടിയെ പോലീസ് അറസ്റ്റ് ചെയ്തു.
വിവാഹത്തിന് തയാറായില്ലെങ്കില് രഹസ്യചിത്രങ്ങള് സമൂഹമാധ്യമങ്ങളില് പ്രചരിപ്പിക്കുമെന്നു പറഞ്ഞ് യുവാവ് ഭീഷണിപ്പെടുത്തിയിരുന്നു. ‘ഇതിന് പിന്നാലെയാണ് ഇങ്ങനെ ചെയ്യേണ്ടി വന്നതെന്നും പെണ്കുട്ടി പോലീസിന് മൊഴി നല്കി. അതേസമയം, മകനുമായി പെണ്കുട്ടി അടുപ്പത്തിലായിരുന്നെന്നും എന്നാല് കുറച്ചു നാളുകള്ക്ക് മുന്പ് ഇരുവരും തമ്മില് പിണങ്ങിയതായും യുവാവിന്റെ അമ്മ പറഞ്ഞു. മകനെ പെണ്കുട്ടി നിരന്തരം ഫോണില് വിളിച്ച് ശല്യം ചെയ്തിരുന്നതായും അമ്മ വിശദമാക്കി.
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