India: ‘pressure from right-wing Hindus’ forced closure of Catholic children’s hostel

India: ‘pressure from right-wing Hindus’ forced closure of Catholic children’s hostel
A children’s hostel owned by the Catholic Church has been closed down by the government in the central  Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. A priest told Matters India that it was because the authorities are “under mounting pressure from right-wing Hindu groups”. The hostel, in the western district of Guna, allowed . . . 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

Jharkhand the latest Indian state to pass ‘anti-conversion bill’

Jharkhand the latest Indian state to pass ‘anti-conversion bill’
The Indian state of Jharkhand passed an “anti-conversion bill” at its Assembly meeting on 12 August, despite demands that the bill should be sent to a select committee for further scrutiny. “This is not normal,” Indian journalist Anto Akkara told World Watch Monitor. “It shows the growing arrogance of the . . . Read More

India: another state expected to pass ‘anti-conversion law’

India: another state expected to pass ‘anti-conversion law’
The north-east Indian state of Jharkhand has cleared the draft of an “anti-conversion bill” that could mean four-year prison sentences and 100,000 rupee fines (US$1,500) for those found to have forced another person to change religions, reports The New Indian Express. If what has been dubbed the “Religious Freedom Bill . . . Read More

‘Change your image of India from a nice backpacking trip to Taj Mahal!’

‘Change your image of India from a nice backpacking trip to Taj Mahal!’
India, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan top the list of countries where religious freedom is under pressure, according to the Annual Interim Report 2017 of the European Parliament Intergroup on Freedom of Religion or Belief and Religious Tolerance’s, presented in Brussels last week. “Forget the image of a nice backpacking trip . . . Read More

India’s churches also targeted on Palm Sunday, but Modi stays silent

India’s churches also targeted on Palm Sunday, but Modi stays silent
  India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been criticised for condemning the Palm Sunday attacks on churches in Egypt but failing to condemn attacks in his own country. On the same day that two churches were bombed in Egypt, five churches in India – in five different states – were targeted . . . 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