Churches under attack: Uttar Pradesh reports most cases of anti-Christian violence across India – By Ziya Us Salam
It is a template that was crafted back in 2015, when the first instance of lynching was reported from Dadri in western Uttar Pradesh; it has now been expanded to include minority Christians…. Almost invariably, a right-wing mob wielding lathis, iron rods and tridents disrupts a prayer service, damages property and injures worshippers. The police file a complaint against the attackers, but also another against the victims, accusing them of being involved in religious conversion.
According to data available with the United Christian Forum (UCF) helpline, 305 such incidents have been reported this year in India. Uttar Pradesh fares the worst, with cases reported from cities and towns as diverse as Varanasi, the Prime Minister’s constituency, Prayagraj (Allahabad), Noida, Ayodhya, Rampur, Bahraich and Lakhimpur Kheri. The most recent of these attacks have been in Mau district in Uttar Pradesh and Roorkee in Uttarakhand….
Minakshi Singh, president of Unity in Compassion, a non-profit organisation, said, “The Christian community is being accused of carrying out conversions on a large scale but numbers state otherwise. Over the years, a reduction in Christian population has been noted.” It is a point of view that suggests a systematic attempt to incite anti-conversion sentiments, thus facilitating attacks on the innocent. “It is the same modus operandi. The goons attack the minorities’ symbols, a cross, a Bible, a Quran, then the police take the maulvis and pastors into custody while registering complaints against the attackers under milder provisions of the law,” summed up Dayal.
The article originally appeared in Frontline.