2021 was ‘most violent year for Christians in India’: UCF report

The United Christian Forum reported 486 Incidents of Violence and Hate against the minority, with 102 cases in Uttar Pradesh, 90 in Chhattisgarh 

attack on christians

The United Christian Forum (UCF) in its year-ender statement has shared that its toll-free helpline number 1800-208-4545 has responded to more than one complaint of anti-Christian harassment or violence a day. The year has ended with over 500 such complaints being reported on the helpline. The Evangelical Fellowship of India (EFI) recorded over 305 cases of attacks on Christians until November end. On Christmas weekend, communal mobs were out targeting Christians, and others, celebrating the festival of joy, including at school functions, across the country. It is no shocker therefore that 2021 has turned out to be one of the most dangerous years for Christian minorities in India.

Before this statement was released, SabrangIndia had already published our analysis that 2021 saw a surge in hate crimes against religious minorities, particularly Muslims and Christians. However, India does not possess an independent, comprehensive yet authoritative, or statutory database of the quantum and kind of hate crimes that have taken place across the country. 

According to UCF, over one hundred (104) incidents were reported in November and December 2021. The Month wise number of incidents was:













Most of these attacks and targeted harassment were fuelled by the “actions and speeches by certain groups and the false propaganda of fraudulent and allurement means of conversion” stated UCF adding that it was as if “these incidents are well-orchestrated and pre-planned acts by certain vested groups to divide the country on the basis of religion.” The UCF report stated that the helpline has recorded that incidents of violence against Christians have been increasing sharply since 2014 when 127 incidents were recorded, and the number stands at 486 incidents as on December 30,, 2021. And these are just the ones which were reported on the helpline. 

These attacks were mostly in the North Indian states of Uttar Pradesh (102), Chhattisgarh (90), Jharkhand (44) and Madhya Pradesh (38) which together  recorded 274 incidents of violence against Christians. The Southern State which also reported many such attacks was Karnataka with 59 incidents. Other states which reported acts of  violence against Christians for their faith are: Bihar (29), Tamil Nadu (20), Odisha (20), Maharashtra (17), Haryana (12), Punjab (10),  Andhra Pradesh (9), Gujarat (7), Uttarakhand (8), Delhi (8), Telangana (3), Himachal Pradesh (3), West Bengal (2), Rajasthan (2), Assam (1), and Jammu & Kashmir (1).

 The UCF also claimed that it had managed “to obtain release of 210 persons from detention” and reopened “46 places of worship”, however “only 34 FIRs could be registered against the perpetrators, including vigilante mobs.” According to this report, “There are 19 cases pending in various courts filed under the Freedom of Religion Act in nine states of India wherein such laws exist. It added that though such laws have been in force “till today, no one, not a single Christian has been convicted for forcing anyone to convert” instead the “census has shown that Christian population remained 2.3 percent of India’s population of 136.64Crores (2019).”

Three groups which document such attacks, the United Christian Forum (UCF) and its law associate Alliance Defence Freedom, Persecution Relief and the Religious Liberty Commission of the Evangelical Fellowship of India (EFI) all conclude that 2021 has had the highest ever after the pogroms in Orissa in 2007 and 2008. According to Christian activist, veteran journalist John Dayal, “The laws are apparently against conversions (mostly to Christianity) by force or fraudulent means, including monetary inducements, medical aid and free education. But in recent times they have been fine tuned to criminalise Muslims marrying Hindu women in what is termed as Love Jihad.” He further said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has invited Pope Francis to India “has remained silent” on these attacks as well as “on targeted hate with his followers inviting Hindus at large to join in the ethnic cleansing of Muslims and Christians. These calls have been made several times by high-profile religious leaders and at meetings called “Dharm Sansads,” or religious parliaments.”


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