Christian Persecution, Sexual Assaults and Mob Attacks Going Unpunished in India


February 12, 2014|8:02 am

Christians are being persecuted, sexually assaulted and attacked by mobs in India, and the crimes are going unpunished, according to testimony by Alliance Defending Freedom before the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday.

“India, in spite of its long tradition for religious tolerance, finds itself in the throes of religious fundamentalism and violence against religious minorities for the past few decades. Reports by faith-based rights agencies show that Christians in India have suffered about 150 violent attacks on an average in the past few years,” argued ADF attorney Tehmina Arora before the Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations.

“These attacks include physical and sexual assaults, murder and desecration of places of worship and graveyards.”

Arora listed several examples of Christians being violently attacked by Hindu extremist groups, but the full extent of the persecution is revealed when taking into account the lack of police action on such crimes.

“This large scale impunity enjoyed by the perpetrators of mob violence across the country has fueled violence against religious minorities in India,” the ADF attorney said, and reminded the subcommittee of a particularly violent incident Christians suffered in the Kandhamal district of the eastern state of Orissa (now known as Odisha) in 2008, where between 75 to 123 people were killed, close to 5,000 houses were destroyed and at least 264 churches and prayer halls were desecrated and demolished.

Christians are a strict minority in the Hindu-dominated country, making up around 2.3 percent of the population, according to the CIA Factbook. The rising wave of persecution they have had to suffer through in recent years has been well documented by watchdog groups.