ADF International

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Children as victims of religious persecution

Summary

  • International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression reminds of most vulnerable victims of persecution
  • Global rise in religious persecution threat to children of minority groups

NEW DELHI (4 June 2019) – 4 June marks the International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression where we remember the most vulnerable members of society. Children easily become victims in situations of conflict, including of religious persecution. For example, in India, Ruben became a victim of mob violence simply because he was the son of a pastor and a Christian.

“Nobody should be persecuted because of their faith. It is particularly shocking and ruthless when children become victims of violence because of their religion. With the rise of persecution of Christians and other religious minorities all over the world, children inevitably become victims of this, as they are the most vulnerable members of society. We urge all states to protect the children and all members of religious minorities along with their freedom to practice their faith without fear of violence or persecution,” said Tehmina Arora, Director of ADF India.

Mob violence in India

Ruben is the son of Pastor Balu and Bhuri. Their family and congregation in a small village in Madhya Pradesh were violently attacked by an angry mob that stormed their place of worship. Following the attack Ruben and his family were detained, stripped of their clothes, beaten, and held without bail for three days. They were convicted of forced conversion under anti-conversion laws. Recently, the charges held against them were lifted on appeal.

“No child should be exposed to the kind of violence that Ruben has experienced. On this International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression we urge all states to protect the most vulnerable members of society. This includes those children who are members of minorities and at particular danger of violence and persecution,” said Paul Coleman, Executive Director of ADF International

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