First six months of the year 2019 witnessed 158 incidents of violence against Christians in 23 states of India as per the records of UCF Helpline Number 1800-208-4545. Out of 158 incidents recorded; 130 are of mob attacks or intimidation and threats by a violent mob that beats up faithful assembled peacefully in church/house-church for prayer service.

Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB) is severely curtailed in 23 states out of 29 states in India, which means practicing one’s faith is becoming dangerous to life in over 90% of Indian territory. Similarly, mob violence accounts for over 90% since 130 incidents out of 158 incidents are mob attacks in nature.

In fact, mob violence has become a norm in our country with no political party taking a strong position against such acts of violence. Another practice which too becoming the norm is the trend of not filing FIRs against violence perpetrators as only 24 incidents out of 158 have FIRs registered against them. Remarkably, 11 states are under the rule of so-called secular parties as against 12 states under the rule of NDA.

List of States wherein violence against Christians are reported: Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Goa, Gujarat. Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Puducherry, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.

Uttar Pradesh continues to witness the highest number of incidents with 32 incidents of violence reported against Christians followed by 31 incidents in Tamil Nadu. Modus operandi followed in all these incidents are almost same. A mob accompanied by the police arrives at the prayer service shouts slogans, beats up the congregations including women and children. Then the pastors are arrested or detained by the police under the false allegation of conversion.

There were 110 women and 89 children who were injured in these 158 incidents. Sadly, these incidents have become so common nobody has time to condemn them including political, civil society and religious leaders. There are just about a couple of publications which gave an unbiased report.

One thing that can be clearly seen is the consistently increasing in the violence against Christians since 2014. There were just below 150 in 2014 which went closer to 200 in 2015 then over 200 in 2016. 2017 and 2018 touched 250 and 300 respectively. The year 2019 is already witnessing 26 incidents per month as against 20 incidents per month in 2018.

Tehmina Arora, Director of ADF India says: “Nobody should be persecuted because of their faith. It is worrying to see these horrendous acts of mobocracy still continuing even after a slew of directions to the government from the Supreme Court Bench. The police and local administration who are responsible for law and order, must take quick action against anyone who involves themselves in mob violence”To track violence against Christians in India please visit: mapviolence.in