- More peace than usual for Christians in India this Easter
- Increase in violence against Christians momentarily stalled
NEW DELHI (9 April 2020) – In India, the government measures taken against the spread of the Corona pandemic have, in fact, also slowed down violence against Christians. As people are in their homes, such incidences have decreased from about one a day to three per week. Nevertheless, this only provides a moment of recovery for Christian communities.
“Nobody should be persecuted because of their faith. With the government lock-down due to Corona, we have observed a decrease in incidents of violence against Christians. Before the crisis, there was usually one incident per day while now we record three per week. It seems, that as people stay at home, religious minorities experience a brief respite from violence which is particularly valuable with Easter just a few days away.
Nevertheless, just this week, we received report of a particularly violent beating of a Christian in Tamil Nadu. This shows that despite a momentary slow down, the persecution of Christians and other religious minorities in India through mob-attacks and false accusations under anti-conversion laws is far from over. Everyone must have the right to freely live out their faith and not live in fear because of it,” said Tehmina Arora, Director of ADF India.
Violence against Christians in India
Since 2019, violence against Christians has risen significantly. The United Christian Forum and ADF India documented over 78 incidents of harassment and mob violence against Christians in 2020 alone. The attacks usually take a similar shape and often the police fail to take action against the mobs. A mob will arrive at a prayer meeting or Christian gathering, shout abuse and harassment, and beat up those in attendance including women and children. Then, the pastors or priests are usually arrested by the police under false allegations of forced conversions.
“As Easter approaches, it is reassuring to hear that Christians in India will be able to celebrate under safer conditions than usual. Sadly, this might only be momentary, as the violence and mob attacks still testify to what many Christians and other religious minorities experience in India today. All people should have the right to freely choose and live out their faith,” said Paul Coleman, Executive Director of ADF International.