The first six months of 2019 witnessed 158 incidents of violence against Christians in 23 states of India, says United Christian Forum, based on the records of its helpline.
Among the 158 incidents recorded, 130 relate to attacks or intimidation and threats by violent mobs that beat up faithful assembled peacefully in church or house-church for prayer service.
Freedom of Religion or Belief is severely curtailed in 23 of India’s 29 states.
This means that “practicing one’s faith is becoming dangerous to life in over 90 percent of the Indian territory,” bemoans the forum.
All the incidents were recorded at the UCF Helpline Number 1800-208-4545.
“Mob violence has become a norm in the country with no political party taking strong position against such acts of violence,” regrets a UCF press release.
Another disturbing trend is the refusal of police to file First Information Record against violence perpetrators. “Only 24 incidents out of 158 have FIRs registered against them,” the press release says.
It also notes that the police inaction was noted in 11 states are “under the rule of so-called secular parties” as against 12 states under the rule of the pro-Hindu National Democratic Alliance.
List of states where violence against Christians are reported are: Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Puducherry, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.
Uttar Pradesh continues to witness highest number of incidents with 32 incidents of violence reported against Christians followed by 31 incidents in Tamil Nadu, the press release says.
In the recorded 158 incidents, 110 women and 89 children injured. “Sadly, these incidents have become so common nobody has time to condemn them including political, civil society and religious leaders. There are just about couple of publications which gave unbiased report,” the forum bemoans. (See Focus)