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ICC Note: Christians in India’s Jharkhand state have described the discriminatory treatment they are receiving from their government in the most dire of terms. According to these Christians, they feel that they are being treated as terrorists. This description comes as Christian organizations in the state have come under investigation by the Anti-Terrorist Squad and Christian followers have been assaulted by rampant radical nationalists.

08/02/2018 India (World Watch Monitor) – Christians in India are treated as “terrorists” by the government, according to a group of Catholic bishops, who claim it uses its Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) to investigate Christian institutions, Catholic news agency UCAN reports.

Nine bishops from the north-eastern state of Jharkhand met with the state governor, Draupadi Murmu, in a bid to stop what they called “government harassment”.

“We are now treated as terrorists and officials of the ATS are after us as if we are involved in terrorist activities,” Auxiliary Bishop Telesphore Bilung of Ranchi, Jharkhand’s capital, told UCAN.

Over the past few months, several Christian organizations have been investigated and requested to produce their financial details within 24 hours, while “church people” have been arrested on “trumped-up charges”, the bishop said.

The bishops’ claims were dubbed “absurd” by state police spokesperson R.K. Mallick.

According to UCAN, the investigations into the Christian groups followed allegations from the government and Hindu groups that the Christians were using their funds for religious conversions and also for supporting the Pathalgadi tribal movement that seeks greater autonomy.

The bishops have also sent a memorandum to the federal Home Minister, stating that all the accused institutions have acted in line with regulations.

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