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BJP is a partner, had declared in a circular that Good Friday would be a normal “working day”, but the move was withdrawn .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

2017 ‘one of the most traumatic years for Indian Christians’

Hindu radicals burn a dummy replica of local Jharkhand Archbishop, Cardinal Telephore Toppo of Ranchi. (Photo: Catholic Bishops' Conference of India)
The Evangelical Fellowship of India (EFI) has described 2017 as “one of the most traumatic” years for Indian Christians in a decade after it recorded 351 verified incidences of hate crimes against Christians during the year. The Religious Liberty Commission of the EFI, which brings together Christians from more than . . . Read More

Indian Christians faced almost as many attacks in first half of 2017 as all of 2016

Indian Christians faced almost as many attacks in first half of 2017 as all of 2016
In the first six months of 2017, Indian Christians were harassed, threatened or attacked for their faith in 410 reported incidents (248 in the first quarter) – almost as many as the total for the whole of 2016 (441). This is according to figures compiled by partners of Open Doors, . . . 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

Indian Christians protest at Good Friday launch of ‘Digital India Day’

Indian Christians protest at Good Friday launch of ‘Digital India Day’
Ignoring protests from Christians, the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, launched Digital India Day on 14 April – Good Friday – as part of his government’s campaign to promote widespread use of electronic products and services. India’s Christians said they felt marginalised by the move because it fell on an . . . 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

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 at . . . Read More

Hindu nationalist training video goes viral

A video showing members of a Hindu nationalist group receiving firearms training has gone viral on social media in India. The video depicting Bajrang Dal members in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh has been criticised as “coercing young people towards violence and encouraging violence against minorities”, . Other videos . . . Read More