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12/05/2018 India (International Christian Concern) – On December 1, more than 1,100 Christians staged a peace rally in Varanasi, the holy city of Hinduism, against rising levels of persecution. The issue of Christian persecution especially affects the District of Varanasi as Hindu radicals have forced hundreds of local house churches to close.

Following the event, Rev. Nehemiah Christie, an activist with the Alliance Defending Freedom, said that the rally “was successful.

[Christians] came out to speak up against oppression and violence,” Rev. Christie explained. “More than 1,100 people attend the peace rally on 1st December against anti-Christian persecution.

Participants in the rally demanded peace and expressed solidarity with persecuted churches. They called on the government to allow the services of closed churches to restart and that the freedom of religion be upheld.

This rally comes at a time when attacks on Christians and their places of worship in India continue to rise. According to data from the Alliance Defending Freedom, Christians have endured 219 separate attacks on their community across India. In response, police in India have only registered 16 criminal cases against perpetrators of anti-Christian violence.

For interviews with William Stark, ICC’s Regional Manager, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: [email protected].