A Christian charity has warned that the recent election victory of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in India’s key battleground state, could cause Hindu nationalists to escalate atrocities against Christians.
Heena a partner of Open Doors, a charity which campaigns on behalf of persecuted Christians warned that the BJP’s win in Uttar Pradesh, ‘would be seen as a green signal for the atrocities against Christians.’
Heena told Premier: “Christian's who were already fearful of attacks are even more terrified now.
“The BJP’s victory and stronghold in Uttar Pradesh shows how successful they are in polarising such a powerful state.”
Over the last month, citizens in, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Manipur and Goa all went to the polls to elect a new government.
Now with over 150million people registered to vote in Uttar Pradesh, the state – if it was a country - would be the world’s fifth most populous nation.
Director of Advocacy at Open Doors UK and Ireland Dr David Landrum said: “Chief minister Yogi Adityanath’s win in Uttar Pradesh for a second term is a serious blow to the hopes of Christians and Muslims across the country.
“He is known for stoking sectarianism violence and his victory is effectively a vote in favour of hard-line Hindu nationalism.
“The ideology of Hindutva - the notion that to be an Indian you must be a Hindu - is a dangerous and potentially deadly one for Christians.
“This populist ideology is counter to India’s actual constitution, which affirms religious freedom and conversion – and as such we can see Gandhi’s dream fading.”
India is number 10 on Open Doors 2022 World Watch List and violence and intolerance towards Christians and Muslims has risen dramatically since Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power in 2014.