India: A recent report delineates an upsurge in the Christian persecution in the country

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An independent report compiled by Evangelical Fellowship of India’s Religious Liberty Commission (EFIRLC), has portrayed dire situation for the Church in India claiming that Christian persecution has increased dramatically during the first half of 2016. It was further explained that the persecution has exceeded the pace it had augmented during the last two years.

Christians persecuted in India

The report was formulated with reference to over a period from January 1, 2016 till June 30- including 134 incident so anti-Christians violence. These figures when compared to a total of 147 incidents in entire 2014, and 177 in 2015 – portray an appalling situation for Christians in India.

Major incidents were reported from across 21 out of 29 states, with Uttar Pradesh leading as the hub of Christian persecution, where at least 25 incidents were recorded; Madhya Pradesh follows with 17 cases and Chhattisgarh with 15 reported incidents.

Major ploys used to heap misery on the Christians included physical violence, arrests on false allegations and halting church services which are most recurrently reported. Accompanying these crimes are attacks on churches followed by wrecking and threatening Christians are also frequent.

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The report states: “In Bastar, Chhattisgarh, religious fanatics attacked a church and tried to set a pastor and his pregnant wife on fire after thrashing them at remote Tokapal in Chhattisgarh’s Bastar region. The pastor and his wife managed to escape after they were beaten up and doused with petrol.”

“The attackers destroyed the electronic equipment at the church, besides thrashing the pastor’s children and setting ablaze scriptures and furniture. The FIR [First Information Report] stated the assailants were well-armed and even tried to burn the pastor’s house.”

In the South, Tamil Nadu was ranked as fourth most dangerous state for Christians with 14 incidents. Telangana, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh were the other southern states included in the list with seven, six and two cases correspondingly.The report further discloses that various Hindu radical factions associated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, (RSS). Most of the groups behind the anti-Christians violence were associated with RSS.