Leveling serious allegations, the United Christian Forum, India (UCF India) on Friday said that the violence on the Christian community has increased with every passing year.
Authenticated complaints reveal more than one and a half incidents a day, totaling nearly 500 this year as reported with UCF toll-free helpline number 1800-208-4545, claimed A C Michael, Former Member of Delhi Minorities Commission, Delhi Govt.
He said the last two months of 2021, November and December, witnessed over 104 incidents as if to warn Christians from celebrating the birthday of Lord Jesus Christ – Christmas.
The month-wise number of incidents are January-37, February-20, March-27, April-27, May-15, June-27, July-33, August-50, September-69, October-77, November-56, and December-48, stated Michael.
He further revealed, as per the reports recorded on UCF helpline the incidents of violence against Christians have been increasing sharply since 2014.
“This includes 127 incidents in 2014, 142 in 2015, 226 in 2016, 248 in 2017, 292 in 2018, 328 in 2019, 2020 in 279 and 486 incidents as on 30 December 2021,”mentioned Michael.
Adding further, he said, combined four (4) North Indian states, Uttar Pradesh (102), Chhattisgarh (90), Jharkhand (44) and Madhya Pradesh (38) have recorded 274 incidents of violence against Christians.
“Signalling that to practice one’s faith, especially Christians, in these states is becoming dangerous, this could also mean that the state authorities are failing to ensure a conducive atmosphere to all its citizens equally,” alleged UCF.
There is also one Southern State which too, is witnessing a high number of incidents of violence against Christians that is Karnataka with 59 incidents, stated the data shared by Michael.
As per UCF’s data shared, other states which are witnessing violence against Christians for their faith are Bihar (29), Tamil Nadu (20), Odisha (20), Maharashtra (17), Haryana (12), Punjab (10), Andhra Pradesh (9), Gujarat (7), Uttarakhand (8), Delhi (8), Telangana (3), Himachal Pradesh (3), West Bengal (2), Rajasthan (2), Assam (1), and Jammu & Kashmir (1).
The UCF helpline through its advocacy and interventions manages to obtain the release of 210 persons from detention. Also, 46 places of worship were reopened or continue to have prayer services. But, sadly, as always 34 FIRs could only be registered against the violent perpetrators, added Michael.
“In almost all incidents reported across India, vigilante mobs composed of religious extremists have been seen to either barge into a prayer gathering or round up individuals that they believe are involved in forcible religious conversions,” alleged Michael.
Michael also alleged that with impunity, such mobs criminally threaten, physically assault people in prayer, before handing them over to the police on allegations of forcible conversions.
“There are nineteen (19) cases pending in various courts filed under the Freedom of Religion Act in nine states of India wherein such laws exist. Though such laws in certain states have been in force since 1967 – over 50 years now – but till today, no one, not a single Christian has been convicted for forcing anyone to convert,” he added.