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ICC Note:

A report released by the Evangelical Fellowship of India (EFI) has claimed that Christians in India faced at least 177 instances of persecution in 2015. Among these instances of persecution, the EFI report has documented the majority of the persecution faced by Christians is physical assaults, documenting 68 cases in 2015. This report was released less then a week after a letter from the U.S. Congress was sent to India’s Prime Minister expressing grave concerns over increasing religious intolerance. Despite reports such as EFI’s and the Catholic Secular Forum’s, which claimed Christians faced 365 instances of persecution in 2015, India’s central government continues to brush off Christian persecution as a non-issue. 

3/3/2016 India (Premier) – A report from the Evangelical Fellowship of India has said at least 177 cases of Christian persecution happened in the country last year.

The Fellowship said most of these were of physical violence (68), with stopping church worship (18) and damaging churches (18), arresting pastors and Christian colleagues (18) and rape (3) also happening several times.

One rape case involved a nun at her convent.

Given that the Indian government only records instances of religious victimization when the police formally file it, it’s likely that many more instances of Christian persecution occurred in 2015 than the cases above.

Christians make up around 2.3% of India’s population, equaling more than 25 million people.

The persecution of believers occurs despite freedom of religion being enshrined in the Indian constitution, and the country being a party to various declarations guarantee freedom of belief.

In 2015 victimization was worst for Christians in the central states of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, and the northern state of Uttar Pradesh.

Muslims have also been experiencing significant levels of persecution in India, according to the EFI.

It says in six Indian states conversion to Christianity or Islam is forbidden.

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