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Christians branded as 'anti-Indian' amid increased violence against minority group

by Eno Adeogun

A church leader and partner of Open Doors, told the religious freedom charity: "In the past, India was known as a country of diversity. But today's leaders don't want diversity.

"They want uniformity and they want it by force. We all know that we are moving towards the goal of unifying India under one religion.


"Already the idea has taken root that we should change the preamble in the constitution which says that India is a secular country. If they want to remove the word 'secular', that will pave the way for changing the constitution.

"In the past, the taboo word was 'conversion'. If you tried to convert someone, it was a big problem.

"But there are so many Christian countries outside of India and many are wondering, 'What is wrong in being a Christian?'

"That's why they have now remodified the word 'conversion' into what we call 'nationalism'. So anything you do that is not acceptable to one particular group of people will brand you as anti-Indian."

Open Doors have learned that many Hindus are unwilling to even accept help from Christians. One example of this was after the 2018 floods in Kerala state, South India where a a Christian man who took his boat out to a remote house to help people trapped on a roof had his help turned down because he was a Christian.

In the first quarter of 2019, Open Doors recorded 216 persecution incidents against Christians, including two murders and 11 cases of attempted murder.


Over 45 cases were physical abuse, where victims suffered temporary or permanent physical problems because of the assault.

Open Doors has produced a report titled 'We're Indians Too', that looks at the increasing human rights violations against religious minority communities in India.

Dr Matthew Rees, head of advocacy at Open Doors said in a statement: "This report paints a shocking picture.

"Though religion-based violence has existed for years in India, this report demonstrates that Hindu extremists have created an environment of hate and intolerance toward India's religious minorities. This in turn has seen an escalation of violence, and social ostracism."

Roughly 64 million Christians live in India - less than five per cent of the total population.

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