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Escalation of anti-Christian attacks in Uttar Pradesh, India

The Religious Liberty Commission of Evangelical Fellowship of India (EFI) denounces a “systematic campaign” against Christians. There have been 44 attacks in 2 months in Uttar Pradesh.

SOURCES Evangélico Digital AUTHOR Evangelical Focus LUCKNOW 26 NOVEMBER 2018 08:37 h GMT+1
Lucknow, capital of the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. / Wikimedia Commons.

The situation of Christians in India has worsened in recent months due to the continuous attacks by Hindu extremist groups.



Christians in India, especially in Uttar Pradesh, India's most populous state, fear new attacks and have urged the Uttar Pradesh government to arrange adequate security for them.



 



44 ATTACKS IN 2 MONTHS



The Religious Liberty Commission of Evangelical Fellowship of India (EFI) released a document, showing that this state, ruled by the Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, topped the list of states with 44 anti-Christian incidents in the past two months, while 71 such incidents were documented across India.



“Since the Christmas Season is fast approaching, we appeal to the Chief Minister to ensure that churches are given adequate security, so that the community can observe the festival of love and universal hope in peace”, said the release from Evangelical Fellowship of India.



EFI also urged Adityanath “to restore the confidence of the Christian community by enforcing law and order and through exemplary punishment to communal elements, who attack peaceful Churches and worship services on flimsy and made up charges”.



 



“SYSTEMATIC CAMPAIGN AGAINST CHRISTIANS”



The increased violence against Christians this year was result of a “systematic campaign” in Jaunpur district, in which Christian missionaries are accused of converting hundreds of poor villages to Christianity.



“Both the police and the right-wing mobs have been disrupting worship services and harassing the worshippers. Videos have surfaced on social media, in which the police are seen blocking roads and discouraging people from attending worship services and asking them to go away”, the report said.



Additionally, “right wing Hindu groups raid churches, but police filed complaints accusing priests of proselytizing by force or fraud”.



A total of 195 incidents have been documented from January to October 2018 in Uttar Pradesh, where over 220 million citizens are largely Hindu, and Christians represent 0.18% of the population.



 



“THE EROSION OF THE LIBERAL STATE IN INDIA”



According to Christian anthropologist from Goa, Jason Keith Fernandes, “the list of attacks by Hindu nationalist groups is disturbing: it is urgent to appeal to state authorities, in particular to the Prime Minister of Uttar Pradesh, to ensure that the state protects vulnerable groups”.



“The inability of the police to guarantee order, freedom and the rights of all is a concern not only for Christians, but for all citizens of the state. It may be a sign of the erosion of the liberal state in India”, he added.


 

 


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