Christians in India will have the support of police during Christmas services in the upcoming weeks following a number of attacks against them.
In a statement, police in the state of Karnataka said they will deploy officers outside churches and escort them, especially during Christmas carol concerts taking place in public.
A Christian group had requested the protection following several attacks against them following the “enactment of the anti-conversion law”.
“We are very afraid to celebrate Christmas,” Nayomi Grace, the head of the women’s wing at the All India Christian Forum, said.
“We have received letters and verbal threats that if we go out and worship over the Christmas period, we will be beaten because India should be a Hindu country”.
“This protection is very necessary as anti-Christian mobs are taking the law into their own hands and attacking churches and worshippers on a daily basis,” she added.
According to the United Christian Forum, there have been at least 511 violent attacks against Christians from January to November 2022.
Some are praising the branding the decision as a “right step forward” as last year police in the same state advised churches not to host Christmas services due to security concerns.
Christians make up just five percent of the country’s Hindu-majority population.