Christian Persecution Escalates in India

Farrukh Saif

June 4, 2024

Christian-Persecution-in-India.

Christian persecution is escalating across India as the country’s general elections continue, with reports of violence, arrests, and forced reconversions to Hinduism. According to Our Associates in India, almost daily, Christians face attacks, threats, and false charges in multiple states.

In Central India, Pastor Ravi and his congregation were brutally assaulted by religious extremists and then arrested on false accusations of forced conversions. Local Christians report a severe situation, with believers under surveillance and some fleeing villages to escape forced reconversions. Similarly, In Punjab, Pastor Ramandeep and his brother Amandeep were attacked with swords and knives by extremists opposed to their church ministry.

Alarming Rise in Persecution Cases:

The Evangelical Fellowship of India (EFI) documented 601 cases of persecution against Christians in 2023, a 45% increase from the previous year. Uttar Pradesh remained the most hostile state with 275 incidents. The United Christian Forum (UCF) recorded an additional 161 cases from January to mid-March 2024, with Chhattisgarh emerging as an extreme hotspot.

The UCF condemned the alleged practice of filing false accusations of illegal conversions against pastors attending routine gatherings. Over 30 such cases were reported in Uttar Pradesh alone in the first few months of 2024.

Anti-Conversion Laws Fuel Arrests:

Draconian anti-conversion laws in 12 Indian states have led to the arrests of hundreds of Christians, according to church sources. In Uttar Pradesh, nearly 400 Christians, mostly Protestant pastors and church members, have been arrested since the law’s passage.

The anti-conversion laws, intended to prevent forced conversions, are being applied to any form of evangelism, despite the constitutional guarantee of religious freedom. Observers warn that Hindu nationalist ideology (Hindutva) is on the rise, raising concerns about further persecution.

While the situation remains dire, persecuted Christians in India continue to courageously follow their faith, with some pastors preaching the Gospel even from jail.

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Farrukh Saif

Farrukh H. Saif, a courageous Christian human rights activist, established the Farrukh Saif Foundation in 2009 to confront religious discrimination, blasphemy laws, and bonded slavery in Pakistan. His dedication to liberating bonded laborers from brick kilns and advocating for blasphemy victims and asylum seekers has garnered international acclaim. Despite encountering threats and fatwas, his impactful work persists in supporting marginalized communities. In 2018, the foundation merged with The Emergency Committee to Save the Persecuted and Enslaved, enhancing its global outreach.

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