The All India Christian Council (AICC) has released a new report, titled Atrocities on Christians in India, that details the growing persecution of Christians all across India.
- Attacks against Christians rose by 20% in the year 2016.
- Physical violence against Christians is up 40% and murders have doubled*.
- There is an attack against Christians every 40 hours in India.
- Persecution has been reported in 23 of India’s 29 states.
- Five Indian states have anti-conversion laws, and others have been proposed.
- 108 violent incidents against Christians were logged by the AICC in the first six months of 2016.
*Sources do not give a time frame for this statistic.
Many accredit the rise in attacks to two factors: government complacency and a growing Christian presence in some parts of India.
For some years now, we have watched the alarming rise of religious intolerance in India. This is highlighted by moves to impose anti-conversion laws, not only at state level, but across the country.
Some of these attacks and accounts of God at work read like stories out of the Book of Acts. The message from the Bible is that persecution will never stop the spread of the Church or the gospel. Many Dalits are coming to Christ, partly because for the first time they are finding love and acceptance. No law can ever prevent that. — Release International Chief Executive Paul Robinson
Rising Persecution in India
Violence against Christians has been on the rise since the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) took power in 2014. The nationalist party claims to value equality and freedom, but actions speak louder than words … and their actions indicate the desire for a Hindu India. The government takes little (if any) action against attackers, which has continued to embolden the persecutors over the past three years.
Read more — The Church in India: An Overview
Case Studies of Persecution
The report states:
Incidents of church workers being beaten, threatened, and killed as well as churches and Christian schools being bombed, torched, vandalised, and demolished are all included in the report. It also says there have been attempts to force Christians to renounce their faith and convert to Hinduism.
Some of the itemized cases in the report include stories of a pastor martyred by a Maoist and a couple murdered shortly after accepting Christ. There are reports of believers doused in gasoline, shaved and paraded through town, kicked out of villages, and more.
The AICC continues to provide legal support for believers who have been attacked or wrongly accused, against all odds. Please keep them, and the Church in India, in your prayers.