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06/28/2022 India (International Christian Concern) – Recently, India’s Supreme Court agreed to hold a hearing concerning escalating attacks against Christians. An Indian Archbishop, the National Solidarity Forum, and the Evangelical Fellowship of India jointly petitioned for the hearing. The court is currently closed for a summer break, but it directed its registry to list the case on a priority basis for July 11, the court’s reopening day. A hearing at this level of Indian governance is a welcome development for Christian advocates in India who have vocalized serious concern about anti-Christian persecution by community vigilante groups and right-wing nationalists.

During an initial petition for the upcoming hearing, a senior advocate representing the Christian petitioners highlighted strong evidence of the increasing violence. Every month, radicals perpetrate 45 to 50 attacks against Christian institutions and priests. The number of attacks recorded for the month of May, however, was even worse—57 attacks took place against Christian community members in May. Hearing the petitioners’ initial request for a court date, the bench at least acknowledged, “What you are saying is unfortunate if it is happening. What we can ensure is that your matter is listed on the reopening day itself.

At the July 11 hearing, the Christian petitioners hope to promote the proper implementation of directives handed down by the Supreme Court in 2018. Four years ago, the court released guidelines aimed at addressing hate crimes, cow vigilantism, and mob lynching. The court specifically recommended that federal and provincial governments fast-track trials, pay victim compensation, initiate deterrent punishment, and take disciplinary action against inert or corrupt law enforcement officials. These recommendations were never enforced, but the Christian petitioners in this year’s hearing are confident that they can serve as effective tools by which to combat today’s worsening anti-Christian violence. We pray that they are right and that the court takes meaningful action against the persecution of Christians in India.

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