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UK News

Indian Government ordered by Supreme Court to verify reports of attacks on Christians

by Alex Collett

India's top court had ordered its government to provide details of attacks on Christians in eight states.

During a recent hearing, Supreme Court justices asked the Ministry of Home Affairs to verify allegations of attacks on Christians in states of Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana 

Authorities have two months to provide feedback as to what steps were taken in responding to the incidents, according to the New Indian Express.  

In March 2022 Most Rev Dr Peter Machado, Archbishop of Bangalore, together with the National Solidarity Forum and the Evangelical Fellowship of India filed a petition to stop violent attacks on Christians.

According to the United Christian Forum, attacks on Christians have risen sharply in recent years. There more than 500 attacks last year alone. 

The court said that the order was aimed at establishing the facts after the government, in its affidavit, called the reports of alleged increased attacks on Christians unfounded and "self-serving".

Rinzen Baleng, from Christian persecution watchdog Open Doors, said: "Considering the government's complete denial of the rising assaults on Christians in India, the Supreme Court's order for further verification of the matter is a positive step. 

"It's critical for the outcome of case that the authorities furnish truthful and correct information in a time bound manner because it will help establish that these assaults are not just limited to few individuals but against the larger Christian community."   

A.C. Michael of the United Christian Forum, one of the petitioners, told Catholic news site UCAN he was "satisfied" with the order.  

He said: "We have submitted complete documents related to each case to the top court." 

The next hearing is scheduled for 6th December 2022.

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