Persecution against Christians in India:
A propaganda by anti-India forces
With an aim to malign the image of India and its long-cherished syncretic culture at international fora, some agencies like ‘Evangelical fellowship of India’s arm the Religious Liberty Commission’ (EFI-RLC), United Christian Forum (UCF), Persecution Relief, Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF),International Christian Concern (ICC, US based Christian Human Rights organization), and Federation of Indian American Christian Organizations of North America (FIACONA,US based organisation of Indian American Christians) disseminate unverified inputs of alleged atrocities on Christians in India by projecting/exaggerating/tweaking some minor incidents, accidents and lawful enquiries as incidents of violence against Christians in India.
Also, the growing stature of India in the international platform has, of late, become eyesore for these agencies which are engaged in portraying India as a country which perpetrates hate and violence against the minorities especially Christians.
In line with vicious anti-India propaganda run by suchforeign organizations, FIACONA recently released its annual report-2022 on April 06, 2022, highlighting alleged atrocities on Christians in India, which was based on the reports of UCF, EFI-RLC, etc. and claimed that Fr. Stan Swamy was arrested by Indian Intelligence Agencies on fabricated charges. However, in reality, he was arrested by NIA on charges of links with Maoists and therefore, UAPA was invoked against him.
Similarly, in its recently releasedmagazine ‘Persecution’ (March 2022 edition), ICC alleged BJP regime of sudden rise in persecution of Christians in India since 2014 and sidestepping issues of targeted violence by Hindu radicals against minorities.The report apparently underlined abuse of anti-conversion acts as a tool to further Hindu radical violence against minorities, blocking of foreign contribution to numerous Christian charities etc.
But, the report seems to have relied on the uncorroborated inputs, and is baseless as it has not provided any evidence of the incidents. In fact, a significant decrease has been noticed in communal incidents between Hindus and Christians during the period(2014-2021)as compared to the period (2006-2013). The incidents ofcommunal clashes have reduced by 43%, while number of deaths hasalso decreased by 87%.
On the allegationsof spike in attacks on Christians and prayer meetings in the wake of anti-conversion laws, it is to be noted that such laws were enacted in Arunachal Pradesh (not implemented), Himachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand to deal with conversion through force, allurement and fraudulent means. None of these laws was meant to prevent conversionby choice and no instance of violence against minorities was noticed while implementing such laws.
Further, based on the inputs ofUCF, Persecution Relief and ADF, EFI-RLC had released its annual report (February 15, 2022) alleging persecution of Christians in India and hesitancy of Police to record the crimes/purported attacks. But, the report seems to be published without any corroboration or evidence, because the fact is that Police has been following due procedure and registering cases against culprits irrespective of caste/creed/religion.
In another example of fake propaganda, EFI-RLC reported an incident involving attack on a Christian couple Masa Kunjami and Mrs. Sunny Kunjami by Sodi Joga, Sodia Deva and Sodi Ganga at Kora village, Sukma district, Chhattisgarh(January 07, 2021) due to their Christian beliefs.
The fact checks however revealed that it was a case of land dispute and on the complaint of the Christian couple, Police registered a case and arrested all three accused after investigation.
Another false incident was mentioned by EFI-RLC and FIACONAwhich claimedthat on November 07, 2021 in Shahpur village, Saharsa, Bihar, a mob led by religious extremists-some of them carrying guns, barged into a home church, disrupted prayers, snatched Pastor Krishnanand Yadav’s phone and threatened the gathering. However, there was no report/case lodged in the Police stations (Saharsa Sadar, Nauhata and Sonbarsa) regarding the said incident.
Similarly, the instance of Pastor Ankush Bariayar (Secretaryof Chhattisgarh Christian Forum) summoned to police station on alleged indulgence in conversion activities and assault on him by the mob was found to be exaggerated as he was not assaulted by the Hindu activists.
The allegation that FCRA was used to force Compassion International (CI, an US based NGO)to stop its operations in India, is totally baseless, as in fact, CI had violated FCRA rules and was noticed for its involvement inforced religious conversions.
In view of the above, the reports ofsuch organisations seem to be unfounded and smacks off a propaganda of various anti-India agencies in the name of alleged persecution of Christians.Therefore, the people, irrespective of religion, especially Christians should have faith in the Indian Constitution and its judiciary as well as feel proud of the secular and syncretic culture of India.
They should corroborate the facts behind the claimed/alleged communal instances before reacting to such fake propaganda which were deliberately created to mislead the people and evoke anti-establishment sentiments among the masses.