There was no way to escape. By the time more than 100 radical Hindu nationalists started streaming into the church, more than a dozen cars in the church parking lot had already been set ablaze. Believers who had gathered earlier for prayer huddled together as their attackers began to tear up the church and set Bibles on fire. Blows and insults rained down on the defenseless church members. When all was over five Christians, included the church’s pastor, were hospitalized in critical condition.
The attack above, which took place in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu in November, is just one of scores of attacks that have targeted religious minorities across India since the rise to power of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in May of 2014. Emboldened by a government that willfully ignores violence against religious minorities, radicals launched more than six hundred attacks in the first 100 days of BJP rule. Forced conversions have also been reported, and in Chhattisgarh State one radical Hindu group led more than fifty villages to pass local ordinances effectively banning the practice of any faith other than Hinduism.
Without any action by the Indian government, this spike in religious persecution is likely to only grow worse. Already many of ICC’s contacts tell us Christian communities around India are living in constant fear of attack. Raise your voice today and call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take swift and decisive action to put an end to violence and abuse against India’s Christian minority.