India: At least 23 attacks on Christians during Christmas 2017

While in parts of India Christianity is growing unchecked, in other parts of this vast country Christians are being persecuted. Several attacks have been recorded, some of them particularly violent, making the 2017 holiday season the most violent in recent Indian history, according to the director of ICC.

IInternational Christian Concern (ICC) recorded at least 23 religiously motivated attacks during the 2017 Christmas season. These included attacks on Christmas carers and open threats against Christian celebrations. The attacks resulted in the hospitalization and imprisonment of several Christians. The persecution created such fear among the Christian community that many Christians did not celebrate Christmas this year.

On December 19 in Rajasthan, a radical Hindu group, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, attacked a Christian rally in reaction to alleged forced conversions.

In another attack, 30 Catholic Christmas carolers were attacked and their car set on fire outside a police station in Madhya Pradesh state. The president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India, Cardinal Baselios Cleemis, told reporters in a press release dated December 20:

“The confidence of Indian Christians in the government has become uncertain. "

Dr John Dayal, member of India's National Integration Council, told the ICC:

“As on the first Christmas, there was joy, but in the shadow of fear. "

Pastor Prabhu Kumar admits:

“I have been a pastor for over 15 years at the church in Philadelphia, but never in my memory have we experienced the kind of hatred we are experiencing now. "

HL

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