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03/06/2019 India (International Christian Concern) – The Evangelical Fellowship of India (EFI) has already documented 77 incidents of hate or targeted violence against Christians in the months of January and February 2019. According to Morning Star News, this shows a 57% increase on violence against Christians in the same months in 2018.

We have recorded cases where Christians have been facing social boycott and have been excommunicated from their villages,” Rev. Vijayesh Lal, General Secretary of EFI, told Morning Star News. “In a few instances, [Christians] have had to flee to save their lives.

Among the 77 incidents recorded are the brutal murders of two Christians, both in February. In both cases the Christians were converts from Hindu backgrounds and were murdered by Maoist rebels, locally known as Naxalites. According to Morning Star News, local villagers influenced the rebels into committing both murders.

In the coming months, India will hold elections to vote for a new central government. Many Christians fear that the months leading up to the elections will be especially hard for minorities as politicians often use religiously divisive rhetoric for political gain. In some cases, the charged rhetoric used by politicians incites attacks on minorities communities by radical Hindu nationalists.

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