158 incidents of violence against Christians in six months: UCF

Published 05 August 2019  |  

158 incidents of violence against Indian Christians have been recorded in the first half of 2019, according to helpline records of United Christian Forum (UCF).

Of the 158 incidents, 130 were related to mob attacks on peaceful church assemblies or prayer services organised by house churches.

In 23 Indian states, which is over 90 percent of the Indian territory, the freedom to follow one's faith is severely curtailed.

In a press release, UCF regrets that mob violence has become a norm in the country with no political party taking strong position against such acts of violence.

Police refusing to file FIR is becoming another disturbing trend. "Only 24 incidents out of 158 have FIRs registered against them," UCF press release says.

Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Haryana, Odisha, Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Jammu and Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Punjab, Tripura, Goa, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Kerala are the list of states where violence against Christians are reported.

According to the press release, in Uttar Pradesh alone, 32 incidents of violence were recorded against Christians followed by 31 incidents in Tamil Nadu. The procedure followed in all these incidents is almost same: a mob accompanied by the police arrives at the prayer service, shouts slogans and beats up the congregation, including women and children. Then the pastors are arrested or detained by the police under the false allegation of conversion.

UCF bemoans these incidents which have become so common that nobody has time to condemn them including political, civil society and religious leaders.

"Nobody should be persecuted because of their faith," expressed Tehmina Arora, director of the India unit of Alliance Defending Freedom. "It is worrying to see these horrendous acts of mobocracy still continuing even after a slew of directions to the government from the Supreme Court Bench. The police and local administration who are responsible for law and order, must take quick action against anyone who involves themselves in mob violence."

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