Published On:02 February 2013
Posted by Indian Muslim Observer

Christian Persecution Report 2012 released

• Violence against Christian community remains at unacceptable levels
• Police impunity adds to hate crimes by fundamentalist groups.

IMO News Service

India continues to record an unacceptably large number of cases of violence against the Christian community in India. This is clear from the continuing data on persecution that has been recorded in different states of the country during 2012.

Dr. Abraham Mathai, President of the Indian Christian Voice & former Vice Chairman of the Maharashtra State Minorities Commission said “What compounds the hate crimes against the micro minority is the apathy and impunity of the police and the involvement of elements related to some socio-political organisations.”

Dr. Mathai released the Christian Persecution Report 2012 which was compiled by Richard Howell, General Secretary of the Evangelical Fellowship of India.

EFI recorded 131 instances of violence against the Christians in 2012, which were marked by intimidation, harassment, false accusation, arrests and jailed, church being locked up and physical attacks. These are incidents that have been corroborated after meticulous enquiry. Complaints of violence received from pastors and church workers from across the country number many more.

The southern state of Karnataka once again recorded the most number of attacks against the community with 37 instances of violence and hostility. The central Indian state of Chhattisgarh saw an increase number of 21 instances of violence and with 18 incidents the state of Madhya Pradesh has the third highest rates of attacks.

“Though there has been a marginal decrease in the number of incidents, down from 140 in the year 2011, the trends in the violence look similar to last year. The state of Karnataka also saw a slight decrease in the number of incidents going down from 49 to 37. However, as many incidents go unreported and therefore undocumented, this dip may not necessarily mean that the number of incidents has reduced” said Dr.John Dayal, Gen Secy All India Christian Council who has contributed largely in compiling of this report. The incidents like previous years ranged from accusations of "forcible conversion" to desecration of churches to violent attacks against individual Christians. In most of the instances, Hindutva activists led mobs to disrupt Christian worship services and manhandled, physically and verbally abused the congregation, including women and children. Yet, in spite of leading the attacks, mostly complaints were registered by the mobs against the Christians for engaging in "forcible conversion." The police often detained the Christians at the behest of the mobs. “Atrocities against Christians need to be condemned. The Father of the nation Mahatma Gandhi has said that a civilization is judged by the way it treats its Minorities” said Dr. Zeenat Ali, noted Islamic scholar.

"It is reprehensible that even after more than 6 decades of being a republic such reports are still a necessity. They expose the deep rooted prejudices and official apathy against minorities. Such reports sound the alarm that the health of our nation is a matter for worry. We must be active to ensure that the size of such reports of shame is decreased and the process of healing is initiated" said a very disturbed Tushar Gandhi.

"Unless the Government comes down hard on the these communal forces such attacks will continue to occur thereby denying the rights of the minorities to practice their religion freely as enshrined in the constitution" said Raymond Dsouza, President of the Maharashtra Christian Association.

Meanwhile, real justice continues to elude victims in the Kandhamal district of Orissa that saw a massive wave of violence in December 2007 and August-December 2008. Dr.John Dayal said "Of 31 murder cases tried in the fast track courts, only two major penalties of life term and seven years jail term have been imposed, while in the overwhelming number of cases, the culprits have been allowed to go scot-free."

"It is ironical that in our so called ‘secular’ police stations anywhere in our country one cannot help to notice symbols of particular deities featuring prominently giving an outward impression of their allegiance to a particular community and in some cases even places of worship feature in the police station compounds. Open identification by the police with a particular community is what emboldens the communal goons to perpetrate attacks against the minorities with impunity. We cannot continue to be in a state of denial refusing to accept the reality of a communal police by pushing the truth underneath the carpet." said Dr.Mathai.

Complex indeed is the web of deceit, yet the truth is rather simple when it is dared to be revealed.

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Posted by Indian Muslim Observer on February 02, 2013. Filed under , , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Feel free to leave a response

By Indian Muslim Observer on February 02, 2013. Filed under , , , , . Follow any responses to the RSS 2.0. Leave a response

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