- In 365 days of 2021 Christians witnessed 502 incidents of violence
- In first 103 days of 2022 Christians witnessed 127 incidents of violence
New Delhi – 15 April 2022: Today, over two thousand years ago Jesus Christ was persecuted or believed to be crucified on this day. Followers of Jesus are even today being persecuted in certain parts of the world including in India wherein vested groups of people are spreading hatred against minorities for their political gains.
The persecution of Christians in India is intensifying which is leading to a systemic and carefully orchestrated violence against Christians, including use of social media to spread disinformation and stir up hatred. The strong infiltration of hatred against Christians, have witnessed 127 incidents of violence in 2014 which increased to five hundred fold in 2021 as 502 incidents of violence was reported in 2021 on UCF toll-free helpline number 1800-208-4545. Most church leaders are men, and being a pastor is understood to be one of the riskiest vocations in India. Pastors and their families are targeted to instil fear among them.
In the first 103 days of 2022 we have already witnessed 127 incidents of violence against Christians. January saw 40 incidents, 35 incidents in February, 34 incidents in March and just in
13 days of April 18 incidents of violence were reported on UCF helpline. In which 89 Pastors were beaten up and threatened from conducting prayers for which they became pastors. 68 Churches were attacked in which 367 women and 366 children received injuries. Out of 127 incidents 82 incidents were mob violence.
There are 42 cases pending in various courts challenging the constitutional validity of the so-called “Freedom of Religion Act” which have been framed with a malafide intention to harass the Christian community who are falsely accused of forceful conversion. Whereas, till today, not a single Christian has been convicted for forcing any one to convert. Moreover, census after census have shown that Christian population remained 2.3 percent of India’s population of 1.2 billion.
There are many false cases that were filed against Christians which the courts have found untrue and pulled up the police and the authorities for misusing the power. One example is in May 2017, where 72 Christian children going for Christian camp from Madhya Pradesh to Nagpur accompanied by six elders were detained on charges of being “kidnapped to be converted’. The Madhya Pradesh High Court granting bail to children and elders directed the police to come back with evidence to prove their claim that children are not Christians and that they were being kidnapped to be converted. Till today, the police have not come back to Court.
In another judgement, beginning of 2019, the Delhi High Court while restoring the status of Overseas Citizen of India said that the government could not show any proof whatsoever of having forcefully or fraudulently converting even a single person. Under similar charges, there were over 40 Churches in Jaunpur District of Uttar Pradesh that were shut down in 2018. Even though pastors and other Christian leaders are out on bail, the police are yet to file the charge sheets against any of them as they do not have any evidence to prove fraud or forceful conversions. There are hundreds of such cases, if not in thousands, that are lying in front of various courts across India due to the absence of proof of fraud or forceful conversions. The various courts in India in the last 15 months – January 2021 to March 2022 have acquitted Christians of false allegations of conversions in 59 cases (41 in 2021 and 18 till March 2022).