Indian Christian persecution rose in 2013
Situation predicted to worsen in coming years
- Ritu Sharma, New Delhi
- January 20, 2014
At least seven Christians were killed and 4,000 targeted in anti-Christian violence across India in the past year, a Christian rights group based in Mumbai has said.
With every passing year, the incidents of persecution are getting more severe and widespread, according to Joseph Dias, head of the Catholic Secular Forum (CSF) which prepared the report.
“Initially, we hardly heard about such cases from metro cities like Mumbai and Delhi but there have been [more recent] incidences of attacks and discrimination against Christian from such places also,” he said.
The report, which was submitted to Cardinal Oswald Gracias, is based on over 200 incidents of Christian persecution documented by CSF activists. Among them were 400 attacks on clergy and community leaders, and 100 attacks were reported on churches and sites of worship meets across the country.
Dias said that despite the registration of complaints with the police, no action is taken against the culprits. In some cases, persecution goes unrecorded because the victims are too afraid to complain, meaning Christians are likely to face more persecution in the future.
Karnataka in south India topped the list of states leading in Christian persecution, followed by Maharashtra.
A seminary rector was found in a pool of blood in Bangalore, Karnataka, in April last year. The police are yet to make any arrest in connection with the incident.
The state also witnessed anti-Christian violence in 2008. At least 24 attacks on Church institutions and Christians occurred that year.
Incidents of Christian persecution were also reported in the states of Rajasthan, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Jharkhand.
Dias said the report would be submitted to the president and prime minister of India.