Home News Christian rights group raises concern over escalation of religious persecution in India

Christian rights group raises concern over escalation of religious persecution in India

The group reported that at least 30 Christians in India were imprisoned in the state of Uttar Pradesh in May alone

A Christian rights group raised concern over the continuing rise in cases of religious persecution in India after 30 Christians were reported jailed in the month of May alone.

“India claims to be the world’s largest democracy, yet shamelessly violates human rights,” said Jeff King, president of the group International Christian Concern (ICC), in a statement on June 2.

The group reported that at least 30 Christians in India were imprisoned in the state of Uttar Pradesh in May. Authorities justified the arrests by filing charges of forced conversion, said the group.



ICC claimed that in many of the cases, the arrested Christians were victims of persecution.

“We have arrived at a critical juncture, where practicing faith of our choice is equated as crime and punished accordingly,” said a local Christian leader, who asked not to be named for security reasons.

“We need to be alert and prepared to face the challenge,” he said, adding that “almost every pastor and leader is targeted” in Uttar Pradesh.

The ICC reported that on May 31, a mob of radicals broke into the home of a local pastor who was praying with his family. The intruders proceeded to beat him, drag him from the home, and assault him before handing him over to police.

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The police arrested and imprisoned the pastor and filed a First Information Report, which charged him with deliberate and malicious acts against another religion.

“The anti-conversion laws adopted in 11 Indian states are often weaponized against Christians, allowing authorities to jail them with little regard for due process,” read the ICC statement.

In a separate incident, a group of up to ten radicals interrupted a Sunday service on May 29.

An eyewitness reported that a group of young people entered the community’s church hall where 40 Christians were praying. The group reportedly harassed the congregation and took the pastor’s Bible and shoved him to the ground.

The police reportedly pursued no action against the perpetrators and instead arrested the pastor and filed a First Information Report against him.

“We are scared that even conducting small group prayers can be framed as forcible conversions,” a house church pastor told the ICC.

“Our lives are in danger, as Christian identity could put us behind the bars, we don’t see any way out, only God should intervene,” he was quoted as saying.

In its statement, the ICC said the rise in persecution in India has been “highly disturbing to the Christian community.”

ICC’s King said “India’s anti-conversion laws are not a means to protect religious freedom, but rather a mechanism for the government to oppress and punish religious minorities.”

“Our Indian brothers and sisters are facing increased levels of persecution since the adoption of these laws in 11 states,” he said.

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