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Christians Protest Growing Wave of Violent Attacks in TN
Thursday, June 7, 2018, 22:24 (IST)
Despite violence and mockery, Christians have refused to resort to protest against a growing wave of attacks by Hindu extremists.
In Tamil Nadu alone, there have been more than 15 violent attacks against Christians so far this year. Attacks include desecration of churches and the killing of a pastor whose murder by hanging in Jan. provoked protests from the Christian population.
About 20,000 Christians from at least 16 towns in the state have demonstrated protests against sustained aggression directed against Christians.
A senior church figure in India, Bishop Thomas Paulsamy of Dindigul, Tamil Nadu, said that the state authorities have sided with militant Hindu aggressors rather than victimized religious minorities.
Police have not only failed to protect religious minorities under violent attacks, but are also responsible for persecuting Christian victims of violence, Christian persecution watchdogs noted.
Paulsamy said Prime Minister Narendra Modi's nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been backing militant Hindu groups.
"The BJP supports the fundamentalists... [Prime Minister Modi] does not want the constitution to apply, but rather the religious principles and values of Hinduism," he said.
Church leaders in the country are working to protect Christians and other minorities through an inter-faith aid group.
Christian campaigners are "always peaceful, never violent," he said.
"We Christians actually cultivate good relations with Hindus, Muslims and other religious groups. We travel together, eat together and live together. Many even come into our churches," he added.
Seven of India's 29 states have anti-conversion laws; and discrimination against Christians will continue.
"As long as the BJP is in government it will make life difficult for Christians in India," he added.