India: Modi ‘shocked’ at archbishop’s criticism

India: Modi ‘shocked’ at archbishop’s criticism
India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, has expressed “shock” at the criticism levelled at him by an archbishop. Ahead of state elections this month, Archbishop Thomas Macwan of Gandhinagar, capital of the western state of Gujarat, had written an open letter, citing “ human rights violations” and warning against “nationalist forces”. . . . Read More

India archbishop served notice for raising human rights ahead of Gujarat elections

India archbishop served notice for raising human rights ahead of Gujarat elections
Christian groups and networks in India have rallied behind Archbishop Thomas Macwan of Gandhinagar, capital of Gujarat state in western India, after the federal Election Commission served a notice on the prelate for his pastoral letter ahead of state elections this month. Gujarat is the home state of Prime Minister . . . Read More

Modi accused of hypocrisy after BJP bulldozes through India’s latest ‘anti-conversion law’

Modi accused of hypocrisy after BJP bulldozes through India’s latest ‘anti-conversion law’
Church leaders in India have joined the chorus of protest against the BJP-led government, known for espousing a Hindu nationalist agenda, hurrying through an “anti-conversion law” in the eastern state of Jharkhand. The Freedom of Religion Bill, which was introduced and passed on the same day (12 August) in the . . . Read More

Indian school textbook describes Jesus as ‘demon’

Indian school textbook describes Jesus as ‘demon’
Christians in the western Indian state of Gujarat have demanded the removal from schools of a textbook that describes Jesus as a demon, reports Asia News The description in ‘Teacher-disciple relationships in Indian culture’, a book for ninth-grade pupils, was discovered by Subramaniam Iyer, a lawyer. Translated from Hindi, the contentious . . . Read More

Uncertain future for Indian Christians after BJP’s election victories

Uncertain future for Indian Christians after BJP’s election victories
India’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) seems to have consolidated its political position across India after the party won several state elections. These were held in February and March; after results were counted in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Goa and Manipur, it had secured a comfortable majority in India’s most populous . . . Read More

What next for India’s beleaguered Christian minority?

What next for India’s beleaguered Christian minority?
  Fifty religious leaders from the Christian and Muslim minorities in India met together last week to discuss the religious freedom challenges facing both groups under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government. Christians are “facing physical, symbolic and structural violence” from Hindu extremists across the country, said Father Z. Devasagaya Raj . . . Read More

Madhya Pradesh awaits decision on stricter ‘anti-conversion law’

Madhya Pradesh awaits decision on stricter ‘anti-conversion law’
Madhya Pradesh state in central India awaits the outcome of proposed amendments to its ‘anti-conversion law’, which would lengthen prison time and fines for anyone convicted of forcing someone to change their religion. With state elections looming before this government ends its term in October, some observers claim the move . . . Read More

India briefs: recent incidents of persecution

India briefs: recent incidents of persecution
State police on Feb. 21 arrested a Christian after Hindu extremists from the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) accused him of forceful conversion and beat him in Thuvakudi, Trichy district. The Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC) reported that the Hindu extremists made the accusation against Sahayam Chidambaran after arguing with . . . Read More