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

Court orders extra payment to Christian widows of 14 who died in India riots

Christian women who have been rendered widows in recent anti-Christian violence in Orissa sing their traditional song at a Christmas celebration in Bangalore on December 8 in Bangalore.

The Global Council of Indian Christians based in Bangalore brought two dozen Orissa riot widows to Bangalore from the refugee camps in Kandhamal for conducting medical checks on them and to draw attention to their plight. Though Orissa government has declared compensation of 200 000 rupees ($4000) for those killed, only two of the two dozen widows have got the compensation as police insist on documentary proof for the murders and even recovery of the body some of which have been thrown in rivers and
dumped in jungles.

Photo by Anto Akkara
Following a long-fought campaign, the High Court of Odisha state in eastern India has ensured the disbursal of extra compensation awarded two years ago to dependants of 14 Christians killed in the widespread anti-Christian violence that engulfed Kandhamal district in 2008. In addition, the court has forced the Odisha government . . . Read More

Indian ‘converted by carol singers’ now claims membership of militant Hindu group

Indian ‘converted by carol singers’ now claims membership of militant Hindu group
An Indian man who claimed a group of carol singers illegally converted him has now said he is a member of the militant Hindu group Bajrang Dal and is unwilling to confirm his allegation. The complaint made last Thursday (14 December) to the police by Dharmendra Dohar led to the . . . Read More

Chief Minister of India’s most populous state bans ‘illegal’ abattoirs

Butchers in Uttar Pradesh face difficult times as state government bans 'illegal' slaughter houses.
India’s governing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) party on 19 March appointed a highly controversial Hindu cleric to lead the country’s most populous state, Uttar Pradesh. The choice for Yogi Adityanath – a controversial Hindu monk who has been repeatedly accused of stirring anti-Muslim sentiments – is a shocking rebuke to . . . Read More

‘Hindus never convert people’, says Indian MP

The Indian Minister of State for Home Affairs has claimed the Hindu population in India is decreasing because “Hindus never convert people”. Kiren Rijiju, tweeting on 13 February, also wrote that “minorities are flourishing”. Hindu population is reducing in India because Hindus never convert people. Minorities in India are flourishing . . . Read More

India’s religious freedom failings ‘enshrined in constitution’

India’s religious freedom failings ‘enshrined in constitution’
Religious freedom in India will never be achieved unless the country is willing to make substantial amendments to its constitution and legal framework, says a new report. It also asks the US to put human rights at the heart of trade and diplomatic interactions with India. A tide of religiously . . . Read More

In India, one case of anti-Christian violence every day

Rahul Nayak, 25, the eldest son of Dhubaleswar and Bhubudi Nayak, a Christian couple shot dead in Odisha in July 2015.World Watch Monitor   Attacks on Christians in India were reported on an almost daily basis in 2015, according to a Christian advocacy group. “The country saw 355 incidents of . . . Read More

2014: A year of particular concern

2014: A year of particular concern
If ever there were a year that made plain the importance of religious freedom, 2014 was it, according to the just-released annual report by an American government advisory group. “By any measure, the horrors of the past year speak volumes about how and why religious freedom and the protection of the . . . Read More