Environment of targeted hate and violence against Christians: Report

The half yearly report by the Religious Liberty Commission of the Evangelical Fellowship of India paints a grave picture of minority rights in India

attack on christians

A report titled Hate and Targeted Violence against Christians in India has shed light on a series of instances of lynching, ostracization and violence faced by members of India’s minority Christian community that accounts for just over 2 per cent of the population of the country.

The report prepared by the Religious Liberty Commission (RLC) of the Evangelical Fellowship of India (EFI) says, “The absolute sense of impunity generated in the administrative apparatus of India by the Corona pandemic lockdown, and the consequent absence of civil society on the streets and in the courts, has aggravated the environment of targeted hate and violence against Christians in major states and the National Capital territory, as seen in the data available till June 2020.”

Explaining the impact of the lockdown on access to justice the report says, “Even in normal times, the police were loath to register cases. The situation has worsened. Communally motivated crime is either unreported, or under reported. The victims have no recourse to the normal systems of reporting to the police, and severely restricted access to courts for relief.”

The EFI has registered 135 cases related to lynching, community ostracisation and concerted efforts to stop worship and gospel-sharing across India. Adityanath led Uttar Pradesh leads with 32 cases of hate crimes, while several cases were reported from Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand.

But perhaps the most disturbing instance was reported from Odisha’s Kenduguda village in Malkangiri district on 4 June, where “a 14-year-old Chris?an boy was allegedly crushed to death with a stone by a group of people who then chopped the body into pieces and buried in several places. In the FIR, the police noted that the victim and his family including his father had adopted Christianity three years ago. Since then, a few of the villagers have been harassing them.” A local clergyman Pastor Kosha Mosaki said, “He was earlier attacked in February this year. I have made 4 complaints at the Malkangiri police Sta?on regarding these attacks.”

The report also highlights the horrific custodial torture of a Christian father-son duo Jayaraj and Benicks in Sathankulam town police in the Tu?corin district in Tamil Nadu. The report says, “The anti-Christian violence in Tamil Nadu, which reported a horrendous custodial torture and murder of two Christians of the Nadar community by policemen backing RSS elements in a rival community, is traced to caste supremacist attitudes in villages and their linkages with political elements. The state goes for elections soon. In most of the districts of the state, the police are recruited from the dominant castes, which are inimical to the Christian community and its pastors, a large number of whom are from marginalised castes and economically poor or less affluent sections of society.”

Chhattisgarh saw six documented cases of targeted violence against Christians just in April 2020 despite the national lockdown being in place. According to the report, “Christians were summoned to village meetings when they refused to participate in religious rituals that violate their conscience. They were pressurised to recant and assaulted when they refused.” The report further says, “In three separate incidents on May 5, May 7 and May 18, in Bastar and Dantewada districts, Christians faced stiff opposition to bury their dead. They were told that since they had not followed village religious rituals, they would not be allowed to bury their dead. There have been 15 such confirmed incidents in these districts since 2019.”

The entire report may be read here: 



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