2021 Was Most Violent Year for Christians in India, Says Christian Rights Body

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United Christian Forum says November and December witnessed over one hundred (104) incidents as if to warn Christians from celebrating  Christmas.

Team Clarion

NEW DELHI — The slogan “Sab Ka Saath, Sab Ka Vikas” given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the country has proved to be a hollow, rhetorical bell for the Christian minority in India. The steady year-on-year increase in violence against the peace-loving community escalated in the last quarter to alarming numbers, said United Christian Forum (UCF) in a release on Friday, December 31.

Authenticated complaints reveal more than one and a half incident a day, totalling nearly 500 this year as reported with UCF toll-free helpline number 1800-208-4545.

Last two months of 2021, November and December, witnessed over one hundred (104) incidents as if to warn Christians from celebrating the birthday of Lord Jesus Christ – Christmas.

Month wise number of incidents:

The atmosphere of hatred spread by certain action and speeches by certain groups and the false propaganda of fraudulent and allurement means of conversion including enactment of laws in the name of freedom of religion seem to be encouraging the anti-social elements to do so. It will not be exaggerating if it is said that these incidents are well-orchestrated and pre-planned acts by certain vested groups to divide the country on the basis of religion, says UCF.

Christians take to the streets of Delhi to protest against government inaction following a spate of attacks on churches. — File photo

As per the reports recorded on UCF helpline the incidents of violence against Christians have been increasing sharply since 2014 as if to approve the above claim: 127 incidents in 2014, 142 in 2015, 226 in 2016, 248 in 2017, 292 in 2018, 328 in 2019, 2020 in 279 (perhaps pandemic gave some relief to Indian Christians), and 486 incidents as on 30th December 2021.

Combined four (4) North Indian states, Uttar Pradesh (102), Chhattisgarh (90), Jharkhand (44) and Madhya Pradesh (38) have recorded 274 incidents of violence against Christians. Signalling that to practice one’s faith, especially Christians, in these states are becoming dangerous, this could also mean that the state authorities are failing to ensure conducive atmosphere to all its citizens equally.

There is also one Southern State which too is witnessing a high number of incidents of violence against Christians that is Karnataka with 59 incidents. Other states which are witnessing violence against Christians for their faith are:

The UCF helpline through its advocacy and interventions manage to obtain release of 210 persons from detention. Also 46 places of worship were reopened or continue to have prayer services. But, sadly, as always 34 FIRs could only be registered against the violence perpetrators.

Hindutva mob dismantled a statue of Jesus Christ in Ambala, Haryana on December 26, 2021. — Internet photo

In almost all incidents reported across India, vigilante mobs composed of religious extremists have been seen to either barge into a prayer gathering or round up individuals that they believe are involved in forcible religious conversions. With impunity, such mobs criminally threaten, physically assault people in prayer, before handing them over to the police on allegations of forcible conversions. Often communal sloganeering is witnessed outside police stations, where the police stand as mute spectators.

Sadly, this violence against the Christian community is compounded by the failure of the police to investigate and prosecute mobs and perpetrators. This is despite slew of directions to the government from the Supreme Court of India led by then CJI Dipak Misra to stop the horrendous acts of mobocracy.

There are nineteen (19) cases pending in various courts filed under the Freedom of Religion Act in nine states of India wherein such laws exist. Though such laws in certain states have been in force since 1967 – over 50 years now – but till today, no one, not a single Christian have been convicted for forcing any one to convert. Moreover, census after census has shown that Christian population remained 2.3 per cent of India’s population of 136.64 Crores (2019).

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