Half-Yearly Persecution Report 2011
Christian Groups Susceptible to Violence in India
“With two – three incidents of violence against the community each week in 2011, Christians in India, continue to face the worst ever persecution in India.”Rev. Dr. Richard Howell, General Secretary, EFI
The Evangelical Fellowship of India is deeply concerned at the continued hostility against the Christian minority community in the country. EFI recorded 64 instances of violence coupled with several instances of false accusations against the community. For full report see the attachment EFI Half-Yearly Persecution Report, 2011.
The southern state of Karnataka recorded the most number of attacks against the community with 20 instances of violence and hostility. The central Indian state of Chhattisgarh saw six instances of violence and the states of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh recorded five incidents each.
In an outrageous attack against Christians in Jharkhand, the local villagers in the Palamu and Garwah district left several Christians, including one woman severely injured . One woman was abducted for a month by the attackers before she was finally released by the order of the local court.
The police failed to arrest even a single person in connection with the incidents, inspite of repeated appeals from both local and national human rights agencies and the appeals from the victims, themselves.
Far from being an isolated incident, this is the norm, with several Christians being coerced by government agencies into accepting a compromise with the attackers and even submitting to demands such as leaving the village or area , or would not conduct worship services in their homes or paying a fine for practise their faith .
In most of the instances, after the preliminary disruption of church or worship services, Christians including women were abused and physically assaulted. Later the Christians were arrested on the charges of “forcible conversions”.
The blatant disregard for the law by alleged Hindutva proponents, coupled with the inaction and often bias of the police in favour of the attackers, has left the community vulnerable and helpless in the onslaught of violence.
- EFI recommends that the State Governments, especially the government of Karnataka,take immediate steps to ensure the protection of the Christian minority community within the state
- EFI recommends the Government of Karnataka withdraw false and malicious cases registered against Christians in the stateand direct the police to investigate the motive and locusof the complainant before registering any complaint against Sections 153, 295 and 295A of the Indian Penal Code.
- EFI recommends the Central Government enact the Prevention of Communal Violence Targeted Violence (Access to Justice and Reparations) Bill, 2011, after due consideration to the concerns raised by civil society.