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Christians in India Suffer While Their Attackers Go Unpunished

Christians in India Suffer While Their Attackers Go Unpunished

By Corey Bailey

08/31/202 Washington, D.C. (International Christian Concern)-International Christian Concern (ICC) has made note of over thirty-five anti-Christian incidents which have occurred across India during this year alone. In some of these incidents, the government and local police responded appropriately. However, in many cases religious minorities suffered loss of life, livestock and property while the perpetrators operated with impunity and were neither arrested nor prosecuted.

Legally, India's constitution provides for equal rights among adherents of all religious beliefs, an extremely important point in a country with a massively pluralistic religious society. In practice, however, these protections are not always enforced. The State Department has noted that there were numerous "reports of societal abuses or discrimination based on religious affiliation, belief, or practice."

Evidence of this was seen in July when approximately 100 Hindu extremists burst into a prayer meeting, beat three pastors who were later hospitalized, and "ripped the clothes off a widow." After reporting the incident to the police the authorities told the pastor to stop holding prayer meetings. There are no reports of any of the attackers being reprimanded.

In another incident in July, a prayer meeting was interrupted when twenty radical Hindus, accompanied by villagers, entered the house and beat up Christian participants. The Christians reported the incident, but received no response from the police. However, when the attackers accused these same Christians of "forcibly converting" Hindus to Christianity, the police immediately arrested them.

“Official” legal protection for religious minorities doesn’t do much good if it is not enforced. It is imperative for India's government to increase religious tolerance training of state and local police forces across the country, as well as put tools into place that would ensure that legal protection of religious minorities is in fact carried out.  In addition, perpetrators of violence against Christians, or any other religions, should not be allowed to operate with impunity. When their violence and discrimination goes unpunished, it only serves to perpetuate the persecution and leaves communities of religious minorities living in fear.

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