According to Release International the latest annual report of the Evangelical Fellowship of India (EFI) lists 366 incidents where Christians were targeted in 2019.
Release says in the first two months of 2020, the EFI recorded more than 40 attacks against Christians. They write: ‘Most incidents are physical violence, threats, harassment and the disruption of church services by religious radicals or the police.
‘Disruption of prayer meetings and Sunday worship is now a trend across many states. Many Christians have been falsely accused and detained on charges of forced conversion.’
Their previous report for 2018 documented 325 attacks against Christians. Their 2019 report shows an increase of more than 12.5 per cent in recorded persecution against Christians.
The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom has also verified that religious hate crimes in India are rising. Its latest report states: ‘Mob violence was carried out against Christians under accusations of forced or induced religious conversion.’
Repeal anti-conversion laws
Release International, which supports persecuted Christians worldwide, has named India as a country of concern.
‘In the face of growing Hindu nationalism, Christians are increasingly becoming targets for violence and attacks on their churches,’ says Paul Robinson, CEO of Release.
‘We ask the Indian government to acknowledge the growing violence and act to protect its Christian minority. It should repeal the anti-conversion laws, which are being used to stir up religious hatred.’
Release is working with partners to support Christians facing violence. Christians make up little over 2 per cent of the population of India.
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SOURCE: Assist News, Peter Wooding