10/29/2021 India (International Christian Concern) – According to the Union of Catholic Asian News (UCAN), the Archbishop of India’s Madhya Pradesh state has called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi to act against rising anti-Christian violence in India. The church leader’s call for help comes as a new report documents unprecedented levels of anti-Christian violence taking place in India.
In a letter to Modi, dated October 26, Archbishop Leo Cornelio of Bhopal asked the prime minister “to take effective steps to contain rising violence against Christians.”
The letter came five days after a report was released documenting rising levels of persecution against Christians. According to that report, 305 incidents of persecution have been documented in just the first nine months of 2021. According to that report, Christians faced persecution in 20 of India’s 28 states, most of them ruled by Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
“Very recently certain individuals and groups have stepped up a hate campaign against minority groups, especially Christians,” Archbishop Cornelio said in his two-page letter. “Rising religious fundamentalism and hatred is a threat to the growth of the nation.”
“Archbishop Cornelio wants the office of the prime minister to address the burning issue of violence against Christians in the country,” Father Maria Stephen, Public Relations Officer for the Catholic Church in Madhya Pradesh, told UCAN. “Now even our prayer meetings are termed as religious conversion ceremonies and false cases are registered against the faithful.”
Across India attacks on Christians and their places of worship are increasing in both number and severity. The majority of these attacks are perpetrated by radical Hindu nationalists who believe India should be a Hindu nation.
BJP politicians often use religiously intolerant political rhetoric to gain political support, fanning the flames of religious intolerance. Radical Hindu nationalists also enjoy near complete impunity for their attacks on minorities, giving the impression they have the tacit approval of the BJP-led government in their operations against Christians and Muslims.
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