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

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

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