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International Christian Concern
2020 Pennsylvania Ave. NW #941
Washington, DC 20006-1846
www.www.persecution.org
Email: icc@www.persecution.org

Immediate Release:

Violence against Christians Escalates in India:

Believers subjected to physical abuse, intimidation, false accusation, and unjust arrests

You are free to disseminate the following news. We request that you reference ICC (International Christian Concern) and include our web address www.www.persecution.org.

(2/13/04) The Washington-DC based human rights group, International Christian Concern (ICC) www.www.persecution.org, has recently become aware of new and recent attacks against Christians in India. In the Jhabua district of Madhya Pradeshm, there has been an increase in attacks against believers, and many have had to flee their homes as a result of the intensified persecution. The Christians are living in fear of their lives. The attacks have targeted the Roman Catholic Church, the Church of North India, and the Filadelfia Fellowship Church of India, all of which have enjoyed peaceful relations with their Hindu neighbors for the past 100 years. The violence directed against the Christian minority seems to be well orchestrated to provoke hatred against Christians.

The attacks have included the savage beating of three Catholic priests, the gang rape of a Christian woman, intimidation of children studying in the Christian school, and looting and burning of churches, property, and homes. Police have refused to intervene and protect the Christians, and they have instead arrested Christians on false charges. Law and order in the Jhabua district is completely paralyzed by these incidents which started to occur in late 2003.

The Jhabua district where these attacks occurred is close to the Gujarat State border, an area where similar violence against Christians has occurred. Hindu extremist groups such as Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bajrang Dal have a long history of fostering hate against the Christian minority. The Gujarat State recently enacted an anti-conversion law that serves to intimidate low caste Hindus from converting to other religions. These recent attacks and similar events in nearby states demand the attention of the Indian government to restore law and order in these regions.

ICC is a Washington-DC based human rights organization that exists to help persecuted Christians worldwide. ICC delivers humanitarian aid, trains and supports persecuted pastors, raises awareness in the US Church regarding the problem of persecution, and is an advocate for the persecuted on Capitol Hill and the State Department. For additional information or for an interview, contact ICC at 800-422-5441.