India: 2017 saw 20% increase in atrocities against Christians, says lawyer

India: 2017 saw 20% increase in atrocities against Christians, says lawyer
Amid growing extreme Hindu nationalism in India, dozens of speakers have called for concerted action to uphold the country’s constitution and fundamental rights, at a conference to mark four years of government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “There is a grave threat to plurality,” Professor Ganesh Narayan Devy, a . . . 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

Good Friday holiday reinstated in Christian-majority Indian state after protests

Good Friday holiday reinstated in Christian-majority Indian state after protests
Widespread protests have forced the government in Christian-majority Meghalaya State in north-east India to restore the Good Friday holiday. The coalition government, to which the Hindu nationalist BJP is a partner, had declared in a circular that Good Friday would be a normal “working day”, but the move was withdrawn . . . Read More

Another Indian state set to pass anti-conversion bill

Another Indian state set to pass anti-conversion bill
The northern Indian state of Uttarakhand is the latest to approve a so-called “anti-conversion bill”, reports India’s Hindustan Times. If the legislation passes into law at the state assembly later this month Uttarakhand will join Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat and Jharkhand in having anti-conversion laws. Rajasthan, Arunachal . . . Read More

India: Victorious Dalit activist shows increased opposition to BJP

The governing BJP under Prime Minister Modi’s leadership won elections in his home state Gujarat but opposition is growing. (Photo: SAM PANTHAKY/AFP/Getty Images)
Although India’s ruling party won last week’s elections in the western-most state of Gujarat, opposition is growing, becoming apparent in the win of an activist, Jignesh Mevani, who has been campaigning for land rights for the lowest Dalit caste (which means ‘broken’ or ‘oppressed’). Dalits account for two-thirds of India’s . . . Read More

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