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ICC Note:

A group of Christian leaders have called on India’s government to take action in protecting the persecuted religious minority community as it celebrates Holy Week. Attacks on Christians and their places of worship have increased steadily since the Hindu Nationalist BJP took power in India’s government in 2014. This trend led 34 members of the U.S. Congress to send an open letter to India’s Prime Minister asking him to put a stop to rising religious intolerance and speak out against the radical Hindu groups perpetrating the attacks. With India’s treatment of religious minorities already under scrutiny, will the government take steps to protect Christians as they celebrate Holy Week? 

3/24/2016 India (Christian Post) – A group representing India’s Christian minority recently issued a statement to a religious publication pleading for protection during Holy Week.

The Global Council of Indian Christians sent a statement to Fides News Agency declaring that “protection is necessary during Holy Week” in light of rising violence against Christian communities in the South Asian nation.

“The community fears an organized attack against Christian faithful and churches during Holy Week. As Christians, participating in the liturgies of the passion, death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, we ask for protection and security for our defenseless community,” stated the GCIC.

Although the nation of India officially recognizes religious freedom, in recent times a wave of religious intolerance towards non-Hindu communities has been documented.

Open Doors USA, a Christian persecution watchdog group, ranked India at number 17 on its 2016 World Watch List of countries with the worst persecution of Christians.

The watchdog group attributed this rise in Christian persecution to the rise of the Bharatiya Janata Party government, which occurred in May 2014.

“As a result, radical Hinduism, which was already present under the previous government, has increased steadily,” stated Open Doors USA.

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