Updated on 3 May, 2022
Several reports* conducted by various non-governmental organisations claim that more than 500 incidents of violence were reported against the Christian community between January - December 2021, making it the most violent year for Christians in India. Many such incidents, both reported and unreported, are continuing even today in complete violation of the principles laid down by the Supreme Court in a catena of judgements, more specifically in Tehseen Poonawalla v. Union of India.
Such widespread attacks and targeting have caused a real sense of fear amongst members of the Christian community across the country. It has impacted their freedom to practice and propagate their faith as enshrined to them under Article 25 of the Constitution of India.
Hoping to address this ongoing violence, on 4 March, 2022, Archbishop of Bangalore Diocese Most Rev. Dr. Peter Machado, along with the National Solidarity Forum, and the Evangelical Fellowship of India filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court seeking directions to stop violence and mob attacks against Christians across the country.
Directions sought through the Public Interest Litigation (PIL):
- To set up state-wise Special Investigation Team (SIT) to register criminal cases and prosecute groups responsible for attacking Christians
- To provide police protection to Christians who are under a threat of attack by violent mobs
- To identify and prosecute political and social groups responsible for violence against Christians
- To direct the State governments to compensate all members of Christian community who were illegally arrested
- To prosecute police officials who fail in their constitutionally mandated duty to enforce the law of land
- To direct the government for better implementation of the Tehseen Poonalwalla judgement
Sadly, due to the backlog in the courts, the case has not yet been listed for hearing and an early hearing application made before the Chief Justice of India NV Ramana was refused.
The persecution of Christians in India calls for a concerted legal effort to deter future attacks and to bring about justice. Emergency measures must be taken to stop the brutal attacks against Christians and the senseless destruction of their property.
We request your prayers in support of this important PIL and for the Christians who are targeted for their faith. Pray for justice to prevail so that Christians across the country will be free to profess and practice their religion in peace!
Each successful case helps create precedents which strengthen the legal system in India. A small brick in the wall that will ultimately safeguard human rights and freedoms for all persons.