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“Leave and leave now,” a prominent Hindu leader threatens Indian Christians

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An Indian leader Om Swami Maharaj has told India’s Christians to leave. “Leave, and leave now,” is the message he sent to Christians. In a video, Om Swami accused Christians of stimulating terrorism. His video circulated widely on social media, showing a group trampling images of Pope Francis.

Christian persecution in India

The controversial video posted on May 26, shows Om Swami Maharaj and a group of about 20 people holding placards and banners. The group was protesting near the Sacred Heart Cathedral in New Delhi. The video shows Om Swami saying that if the Christians don’t leave by choice, they will be forcibly expelled from the country.

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The video shows Om Swami spreading a banner on the ground. The banner featured picture of Pope Francis, shortly several others stomped on it chanting slogans of “Pope Francis murdabad”. Christian groups have reacted to the video, and reported it to the police, demanding a ban on circulation of this video.

Remarking about this video, David Curry from Christian persecution watchdog Open Doors, stated: “The terrorism charge is a stretch, essentially, what they’re saying is it’s ‘un-Hindu’ behavior…‘un-Hindu’ and ‘un-Indian’ behavior is anti-state, it’s against the better needs of the state, so therefore it’s terrorism.”

He said that “there are 65 million Christians in the country of India. They’re an important part of the community; they do a lot of charitable work, they add a lot to the fabric of life.” Persecution watchdogs are regularly reporting a steady rise in Christian persecution in India. In just three years’ time, India has risen from number 25 to number 11 in the list of countries where Christians are persecuted most.