Violence against Indian Christians rose significantly since the start of 2019 with at least 29 violent mob attacks against Christians in 13 different states across India in January alone.
That’s according to the United Christian Forum and ADF India who have been documenting the attacks.
“Nobody should be persecuted because of their faith. It is worrying to see these horrendous acts of mob violence continue. It is high time special laws are enacted to protect Christians and other religious minorities from being attacked and then imprisoned under false accusations,” said Tehmina Arora, Director of ADF India, an advocacy organization that protects fundamental freedoms and promotes the inherent dignity of all people.
The attacks often take a similar shape and rarely receive any police attention. A mob will arrive at a prayer meeting or Christian gathering, shout abuse and harassment, and beat up those in attendance including women and children. Then, the pastors or priests are usually arrested by the police under false allegations of forced conversions.
In another ongoing case, Sister Concelia Baxla, a member of the Missionaries of Charity, was arrested last year on false charges of human trafficking because one of her co-workers in an orphanage allegedly took money for facilitating an adoption. While all others involved in the case have been granted bail, Sr. Concelia’s appeal has been rejected multiple times.
Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas, Secretary General of the Catholic Bishops Conference of India, sees the denial of the sister’s right to be released on bail despite her age and poor health as an attempt to harm the Church in India. Sr. Concelia has been imprisoned for two hundred and twenty two days now without a trial.