2017 ‘one of the most traumatic’ years for Indian Christians
Indian Christians experienced at least 350 incidents of hate or targeted violence in 2017, including 110 physical attacks, according to data compiled by the Evangelical Fellowship of India, which described the year as “one of the most traumatic” of the last decade.
The majority of incidents were recorded in the states run by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The greatest number took place in Tamil Nadu, which is not run by BJP, but where researchers reported the “violence has a disturbing overlay of caste discrimination, and the victims largely come from the so called lower castes”.
Persecution peaked during the months of Easter and Christmas.
A repeated feature of recorded incidents were accusations of “forced conversion”, which frequently lead to police arresting Christians, even though they were the ones being targeted.
The data only recorded verified, reported incidents and researchers noted that “most cases go unreported either because the victim is terrified or the police, especially in the northern states, just turn a blind eye.”