There are 26 acts of violence against Christians per month.
2019 has been a rough year for Christians in India. The United Christian Forum (UCF) says there have been 158 cases of violence against Christians in India in the first six months of 2019. The data comes from records of the United Christians Forum helpline.
Data on the 158 incidents of violence, states 130 of these incidents are attacks or threats and intimidation used by violent mobs. These violent mobs have beaten up Christians assembling peacefully in a house-church or church for their prayer service. The Constitution of India has said India is a secular state. However, the reality is far from the truth as 23 of the 29 states of India are denying citizens of India their right to freedom of religion or belief.
The United Christian Forum has said the data shows in over 90 percent of India it is dangerous for people to practice their faith.
A UCF press release has written that India suffers from mob violence because there isn’t any political party which stands strongly against these acts of violence. What is even more disturbing is out of 158 incidents, a mere 24 incidents have First Information Records registered against them. First Information Records (FIRs) are reports prepared by the police when they receive notice of an offense. The country’s police have refused to file FIRs against these violent mobs.
The inaction of the police was recorded in 11 states which are supposed to be under the rule of secular parties. This is opposed to 12 states which are being governed by the pro-Hindu National Democratic Alliance.
The states which suffer violence against Christians are Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Delhi, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Puducherry, Telangana, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.
A press release has revealed that Uttar Pradesh sees the most incidents, with 32 occurrences of violence against Christians reported in the state. Tamil Nadu is second with 31 incidents of violence reported.
Violence against Christians has been on the rise since 2014. The number was below 150 in 2014, close to 200 in 2015, over 200 in 2016, 250 in 2017, and 300 in 2018. 2019 is experiencing 26 incidents per month compared to 2018’s 20 incidents per month.
The director of the India unit of Alliance Defending Freedom, Tehmina Arora, has said: “Nobody should be persecuted because of their faith.”