Report: Religious Persecution Against India's Christians Has Nearly Doubled
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A new report confirms the persecution of India's Christians is rising and nearly doubling since from last year.
The New-Delhi based United Christian Forum (UCF) keeps track of violence against believers and found there were 400 incidences in the first half of the year in 23 states in India.
Comparatively, there were only 274 incidences during this same period last year.
"The government data downplays the severity of the situation," said A.C. Michael, the UCF's national coordinator.
The report highlighted Uttar Pradesh as one of the leading states in religious persecution against Christians with 155 incidences total.
June saw the highest number of violent attacks with 88 cases, which translates into three per day, the group reported.
"Violence in the northeastern state of Manipur has been raging for over two months and hundreds of churches and many precious lives have been lost," UCF said.
Over the last two months, ethnic clashes in Manipur have led to the death of more than 100 people dead and the destruction of nearly 400 churches.
As CBN News has reported, the violence was sparked over plans by the government to give privileged status to the Hindu majority Meitei community in the Imphal Valley region. The Kuki community, who reside on the hills of the Churachandpur district, opposed it.
Christians – who make up about 40% of the region's population of three million – have suffered the most.
"I think the attacks have really been driven...by the central government," David Curry, president and CEO of Global Christian Relief told CBN News. "The BGJ party has made being a Christian something that is not considered part of India. It seems as though their message is 'If you are not a Hindu, you are not an Indian' and this has allowed this escalation of violence against Christians and Christian churches."
The UCF reports, Christians are facing more discrimination because of law enforcement's failure to investigate and prosecute perpetrators.
"Regardless of how they frame it, whether its ethnic violence or anarchist, it seems to always be that the Indian government is overlooking and even in some cases encouraging violence against Christians in India," Curry added.
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