Modi speaks out against ‘menace’ of mob attacks for first time

Attacks on Christians in India by Hindu extremists are on the increase and often their church buildings are destroyed as well, like this one in central India.
India’s prime minister Narendra Modi has for the first time condemned violence against minorities, saying that everyone has a duty to fight the “menace” of mob lynchings. But his critics say that, after four years in power at the head of a Hindu nationalist government, the comments have come too . . . Read More

Nine-year-old Indian girl from Christian convert family gang-raped and murdered

Nine-year-old Indian girl from Christian convert family gang-raped and murdered
A nine-year-old girl from an Indian family that had recently converted to Christianity was gang-raped and murdered on Sunday, 5 August, in Punjab state. Anjali Masih was playing with her friends in the city of Gurdaspur, near the Pakistan border, when a group of men lured her away by showing . . . Read More

‘Total impunity’ in India, as Muslims and Christians ‘bear brunt of ruling ideology’

‘Total impunity’ in India, as Muslims and Christians ‘bear brunt of ruling ideology’
Frequent reports of violent attacks against India’s religious minorities show the “total impunity” enjoyed by their Hindu nationalist attackers, says one civil rights activist. In one recent attack, a pastor, his wife and their congregation were attacked at their ‘house church’ in India’s southern Tamil Nadu state on Sunday (8 . . . Read More

India: 16 more Christians detained under Jharkhand’s ‘anti-conversion law’

A number of the Christians who were arrested by police, after they held a prayer service at the house of a Christian family in Phulpahari, India. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
A group of 16 Indian tribal Christians who visited another tribal family in the eastern state of Jharkhand to talk to them about Christianity are in police custody after the local village head accused them of “conversion by inducement”. Last year, Jharkhand became the seventh Indian state to introduce a . . . Read More

Indian state’s ‘anti-conversion law’ to be repealed

Indian state’s ‘anti-conversion law’ to be repealed
Christian groups have welcomed a surprise announcement by a nationalist chief minister of a state in north-east India that he will ensure that a law preventing conversions from one faith to another is repealed. Pema Khandu, a Buddhist who heads the nationalist BJP-led state government in Arunachal Pradesh, told an . . . Read More

Indian pastor beaten up, then detained, after 11 Hindus convert to Christianity

Indian pastor beaten up, then detained, after 11 Hindus convert to Christianity
An Indian pastor was beaten up by Hindu nationalists, then arrested by police on Monday (18 June) for allegedly forcing some local families in Muzaffarnagar, a city in Uttar Pradesh state, to convert to Christianity, reports The Times of India. Dipender Prakash was reportedly attacked by members of Bajrang Dal, . . . Read More

India: 15 Christians accused of ‘conversion’ in Jharkhand

Seven Indian states have an “anti-conversion law”; the Hindu nationalist BJP is the ruling party in six of them. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Police in the eastern Indian state of Jharkhand have arrested four and are investigating 11 other Christians on charges of conversion, reported Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW). The arrest of the four in the village of Podkher, Simdega district, on 29 May is the first reported case since Jharkhand introduced anti-conversion . . . Read More

Report: UN weakness on religious freedom undercuts its authority on human rights

Dressed in the saffron colour, groups such these are promoting the nationalist cause for India to be a Hindu-nation. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
The UN cannot strengthen, promote and protect human rights if it does not prioritise religious freedom, a report published by the Washington-based human rights alliance, ADF International has argued. The 73-page report, titled “Anti-Conversion Laws and the International Response”, claims that “some UN entities, especially special rapporteurs, have highlighted the . . . Read More

India: Uttarakhand becomes 7th state to pass ‘anti-conversion law’

India: Uttarakhand becomes 7th state to pass ‘anti-conversion law’
The northern state of Uttarakhand has become the seventh state in India to adopt a so-called “anti-conversion law”. State Governor Krishna Kant Paul signed the ‘Freedom of Religion Bill’ into law on 18 April, just over a month after the bill was approved by the state assembly and allowed to . . . Read More

Nepal ‘should practise what it preaches’ as UN member

Nepal ‘should practise what it preaches’ as UN member
As a newly elected member state of the UN Human Rights Council, Nepal must address its own commitment to the protection of human rights, including freedom of religion and belief, says Christian Solidarity Worldwide. The advocacy organisation highlighted Nepal’s decision in October to criminalise religious conversion and the “hurting of . . . Read More