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07/01/2022 India (International Christian Concern) – Yesterday, an Indian Bishop appealed for peace rather than violence following the beheading of a tailor by Muslim radicals in the country. The murderers targeted the tailor in his own shop after he had allegedly taken to social media in support of a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) politician. The politician angered the Muslim community in May by making negative statements about their revered Prophet Mohammed on television. The killing of this tailor is the most recent and gruesome result of escalated tensions between Hindu nationalists and Muslims stemming from May’s televised controversy. Shockingly, the perpetrators recorded the tailor’s beheading and posted it online. The killers, shown in the video, were soon arrested by police.

The Indian Bishop who yesterday appealed for peace is local to the incident. He said, “As a representative of the Christian community here in Udaipur, I appeal for peace and harmony among all the communities. […] We stand for religious tolerance, dialogue, and peaceful co-existence among all communities. I pray that good sense may prevail among us.” In recent times, Christians have made consistent and concerted efforts to push back against religious violence and intolerance in India, phenomena which are growing in prevalence. Christians are particularly motivated in part because they themselves are commonly the targets of such violence and intolerance. The problem of anti-Christian persecution in India has worsened to such a degree that a coalition of Christians is even taking the issue to India’s Supreme Court for a hearing, as International Christian Concern reported earlier this week.

That the Muslim killers of the Hindu tailor have been arrested is certainly a just response by the Indian government. Unfortunately, the government has not been so quick to act on behalf of Christian victims. We pray that this discrimination will cease and that the Indian government will serve and protect its Christian communities.

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