Christians in India Hold Day of Prayer and Protest Against Rising Intolerance

ICC Note:

Thousands of Christians in Garo Hills in India participated in a day of prayer and protest against rising religious intolerance in India. The event took place on January 7 and was led by the area’s Catholic leadership. Attacks on Christians and their places of worship have continued to escalate as Hindu radical groups enjoy near complete impunity. Over the Christmas holiday, ICC documented at least 23 separate attacks on Christians celebrating Christmas, making it one of the worship Christmas holidays in recent history. Will more Christians in India participate in protests against this rising intolerance? 

01/10/2018 India (Christian Daily) – Thousands of Catholics from several churches in Garo Hills joined together in prayer in a day of protest against the increasing atrocities on Christians and other minorities in North India in the hands of right wing groups.

During the sermon on Jan. 7, the day of protest, priests from the five districts of Garo Hills called on Catholics to continue praying for Christians in India and for the attacks against them to stop. They also discussed the recent attacks on believers in Madhya Pradesh, where right wing groups assaulted seminarians for holding Christmas Carol activities, The Shillong Times detailed.

“Such cases of attacks on Christians are worrying. We need to be cautious and concerned,” said Fr. Theodore Sangma during his sermon at the Sacred Heart Church Shrine in Tura. “We must all stand together and pray for peace and harmony in our country.”

In addition, Fr. Sangma called on the faithful to pray for Christian persecutors as well that they may experience true peace in God.

Washington-based persecution lobby group International Christian Concern has documented at least 23 religiously motivated attacks on believers in India during this recent Christmas period. The group said several Christians were injured, hospitalized, or jailed as a result of these attacks, Christian Today relayed.

On Dec. 20, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India president Cardinal Baselios Cleemis said the trust of Christians in the Indian government has been marred because of the recent string of attacks on them. ICC regional manager William Stark said the holiday persecution of believers shows how radical Hindus in the country disregard its own constitution, which supposedly guarantees citizens’ freedom of religion.

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For interviews with William Stark, ICC’s Regional Manager, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: press@persecution.org