AFGHANISTAN IRAN BAHRAIN QATAR
Focus on India
UAE SAUDI OMAN ARABIA
Population: 1.3 billion Majority Religion: Hinduism (74%) Christian population: 71 million Persecution Category: Significant
Christians enjoy freedom in much of India, but in some areas they face persecution. Religious intolerance has grown with the rise of Hindutva (Hindu CAMBODIA nationalism). Its followers use the slogan “One Nation, One Religion, One VIETNAM SOMALIA Culture”, and consider Christians and Muslims to be followers of foreign religions. SRI LANKA MALDIVES Hindutva violence against Christians includes burning church buildings, INDONESIA MALAYSIA destroying property and violent attacks that leave Christians seriously injured or dead. Typically, intruders break up church services, beat the worshippers and call the police to arrest the Christians on false charges of “forcible conversion”. The police rarely arrest the attackers.
Bay of Bengal
“Anti-conversion laws” are often used as an excuse to raid church services and harass Christians. The laws forbid conversion by “force, fraud or allurement” and have been implemented in five states leading to increased violence against Christians and are not used to stop extremist attempts to coerce Christians to become Hindus. Hindus who convert to Christianity face persecution, especially those from low castes. There has been huge growth in Christianity amongst the Dalits (formerly known as “Untouchables”) at the bottom of the caste system and other low castes – nearly 80% of Indian Christians are from Dalit or tribal backgrounds. Hindu, Buddhist and Sikh Dalits qualify for the government’s affirmative action policies to help the most disadvantaged groups, but Christian and Muslim Dalits are excluded. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, elected in • BURNT CHURCH May 2014, is from a low caste. He leads the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party. Attacked by militants Photo: GCIC The worst anti-Christian violence occurred in Orissa state (now Odisha) in 2007 and 2008, when armed Hindu militants killed over 135 Christians, burned hundreds of churches and thousands of homes and left over 55,000 Christians homeless.
Church in Chains in Action
Church in Chains supports the campaign of justice for Christian Dalits. It has channelled aid, via its partners, to Christian victims of militant attacks in Orissa and Karnataka.
Published on Jul 4, 2014
The Church in Chains Global Guide lists 60 countries where Christians face persecution because of their faith. The Global Guide divides the...