Date:  August 24, 2022

India (International Christian Concern) – Last Tuesday, the Indian government denied any persecution of Christians in the country despite dozens of reports proving otherwise. For a government run mainly by radical Hindu fanatics, such denials bear little weight. As thousands of reports and news stories have shown, the reality continues to worsen for the Christian community that is targeted by extremist ideology from the Hindutva movement. Attacks against Churches, threats and intimidation of Christians, social boycotts, beatings, and arbitrary arrests have become far too normal for Christian minorities. Week after week, organizations around the globe report on the dozens of attacks against Christians throughout India – and rather than address the grave human rights abuses occurring within its own country, the Indian government seems more interested in maintaining a public image that tells of a harmonious, multifaith society. But as much of the international community is beginning to realize, India’s tactics are just a façade.

Regardless of the undeniable facts, India’s Solicitor General, Tushar Mehta, recently claimed that the notions of rising persecution and attacks against Christians are based on “half-baked and self-serving facts and self-serving articles and reports…based upon mere conjecture.” The very fact that Mehta denied factual evidence raises serious concerns as to whether or not he is qualified for his position as Solicitor General. Instead, his discriminatory practices tell of a broader belief held throughout the Indian government – one where justice is based on the simple reality of a person’s religious identity. As practicing Hindus continue to attack Christians with impunity, and pastors and parishioners are increasingly targeted by India’s blasphemy and state-sponsored anti-conversion laws, it is impossible for anyone to believe the truth of Mehta’s statements.

Furthermore, Prime Minister Modi, a lifetime member of the fascist Hindutva group RSS, has done little to address the problem in his country. In the early days of his career, Modi was known as the ‘Butcher of Gujarat’ when he overlooked an anti-Muslim massacre that resulted in a travel ban to the U.S. This attitude of contempt remains today, only emboldening radical Hindu nationalists to continue their acts of terror.

Matias Perttula, Director of Advocacy at International Christian Concern, said, “The international community must address the rise of fascist elements in India to ensure that the world’s largest democracy indeed stays a democracy. The Indian government can deny the rise of persecution against Christians and other religious minorities all day long, but the facts remain the facts – persecution is on the rise and only becoming more violent.”

HOW TO PRAY: Pray for the Christians facing various forms of persecution. Pray for healing the victims of attacks. Pray for international governments to call out India on its hypocrisy.