Violence against Christians continues to increase since BJP came to power: Study

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Christians protesting against BJP govt. A file photo.

By Abdul Bari Masoud, MuslimMirror.com,

New Delhi: As the two top Christian clergies raised the alarm about the deteriorating communal situation in the country, a study showed that since the BJP came to power in India, the violence against Christians continues to be at consistently high as in past four years. It revealed that under the 12-BJP ruled states the minority Christian community has been facing the ‘wrath of communal elements’.

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The study carried out the Alliance Defending Freedom which recorded as many as 76 incidents by the end of April this year. It said the violence against Christians in Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh continued to remain consistently high which is a matter of concern.

Talking to Muslim Mirror, ADF member A C Michael said these incidents were reported on United Christian Forum (UCF) Helpline and over 90 percent of among these incidents are threats and intimidation nature in the form of mob attacks disturbing the peaceful gathering of people for prayer service. Like the other minorities and Dalits, Christians also have been at the receiving end in BJP-ruled states, he added.

Women and children are the worst affected by these mobs’ attacks as they are over 60 percent of the gathering. Physical violence like beating up of Pastors and Christians, including women and children, assembled for prayer service is over 50 percent. Just about 10 percent of the incidents got FIR registration, which reflects the high-handedness of police system and dereliction of duty.

He said it is disturbing to note that Tamil Nadu continues to lead the chart with 17 incidents as the state is not under the BJP-rule. The southern state is ruled by AIADMK which has diametrically opposite ideology of the BJP. Tamil Nadu is followed by Uttar Pradesh and Chhattisgarh with 16 and 10 respectively in four months of 2018.

Eighteen (18) states out of 29 states of India are witnessing violence against Christians, which means Christians living in the region of over 60% territory of India are at risk to practice their faith freely as guaranteed under the constitution of India. Out of 18 states witnessing violence against Christians, 12 are ruled by BJP and its allies. Rest of the 6 states is ruled by so-called secular forces of Non-BJP or Non-BJP allies.

Michael, who is also a former member of the Delhi Minorities Commission, said except one incident, the Muslim majority state Jammu and Kashmir remained peaceful for the Christian minority.

The states, wherein violence against Christians are reported: Andhra Pradesh (3), Bihar (4), Chhattisgarh (10), Gujarat (1), Haryana (1), Himachal Pradesh (1), Jammu & Kashmir (1), Jharkhand (1), Karnataka (2), Madhya Pradesh (1), Maharashtra (4), Odisha (3), Punjab (1), Tamil Nadu (17), Telangana (6), Uttar Pradesh (16), Uttarakhand (3) and West Bengal (1).

According to the World Watch List 2018, India is now ranked 11th in the list of countries where the practice of the faith is a high-risk activity and placed under the category of ‘very high persecution’. India has ranked 31 just four years ago.

When the two top pastors made the innocuous appeal for ‘prayer and penance’ for the betterment of the communal situation, BJP, and its ilks have raised much hue and cry on it.

And in last four years over 750 incidents of violence against Christians were reported on UCF Helpline. Last year (2017), 242 incidents were recorded and the year before (2016) was 216 incidents. In 2015 it was 183 and 148 incidents in 2014. However, it would not be politically incorrect to say that the actual figures could be considerably higher as many may not have been reported to UCF Helpline.

The study also pointed out that since the time Jharkhand Freedom of Religion Act became law in February 2018, 11 Christians have been booked under the Section 4 of this act. The police have alleged that the Christians were employing dishonest means to allure people to convert to Christianity. ADF India allied lawyers have taken up these cases on their behalf at the various sessions courts.

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