Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Sunday 01 August |
Saint of the Day: St. Alphonsus Liguori
home iconNews
line break icon

Hindu Nationalist Groups Seek to “Cleanse” Christian Population in India

AP

Vatican Radio - published on 09/08/14 - updated on 06/08/17

Believers worried that persecution of minorities will escalate.

The watchdog group International Christian Concern (ICC) said in a press release that nationalist groups have been directing hate speech toward Christians and leading attacks on pastors and churches in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh. Believers are reportedly worried that radical Hindu nationalism and persecution of minorities will escalate.

John Dayal, a member of the Indian government’s National Integration Council, said: "There has been a sharp rise in hate campaigns against Christians by political organizations. This threat of purging Christians from villages extends from Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh to now Uttar Pradesh, and to the borders of the national capital of New Delhi."

There have been reports of churches being turned into Hindu temples, and entire mobs attacking Christian houses. ICC shared details about one incident in July where a church in Sahakarinagar village was rampaged through by a group of 25 Hindu radicals, led by Hemanth Singh, a leader in the local Bajrangdal group.

Rev. RC Paul, who was leading a Bible study at the church at the time, was beaten along with several other members. "We were shaken and are very scared of the situation in the area. We are concerned of our safety, even going alone outside looks very dangerous at the moment," Paul said.

In fact, there have been reports of sporadic violence against Christians are also coming from other South Indian States like Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu where several anti social elements under the banner of Hindu Nationalist organizations have been going on the rampage attacking Christians in their churches and homes causing severe injuries and damage to Christian property, not to speak of desecration of the sacred objects that they could lay their hands on.

ICC noted in its press release that headlines will continue to focus on Christian persecution at the hands of terror group ISIS in Iraq, but argued that the international community "must take notice of the issues of Christian persecution globally.”

"Like Christians facing ISIS in Iraq, millions of Christians across India are facing persecution at the hands of radical Hindu nationalist groups," the watchdog group added. "Without drastic change, this difficult situation will likely only get worse, as radical Hindu nationalist groups popping up across India have been given almost complete impunity under the new Hindu nationalist government led by BJP and Narendra Modi."

Following the election in May of the nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, several Indian church leaders had said that they were not concerned that extremist groups would rise up against minorities. "Minorities, such as Christians and Muslims, are an integral part of the nation and of the social fabric of Indian society. Minorities are protected by the Constitution; I believe that the new government cannot and will not want to go against the Constitution. As Christians we are confident," Bishop Stanley Roman of Quilon, in the state of Kerala, had said at the time.

President Barack Obama will welcome Modi to the White House for a Sept. 29-30 visit aimed at repairing frayed relations between their countries, the Associated Press reported. Modi’s acceptance of Obama’s invitation  signals that the prime minister has laid to rest any lingering tension over the U.S.’ decision to deny him a visa to visit in 2005. The denial was based on Modi’s alleged complicity in deadly religious riots in 2002.

No one can deny that India’s Hindutva (Hindu nationalist) forces wanted the BJP to win power at state and federal levels with absolute majorities so they can rule outright and not have their Hindutva program hamstrung by coalition partners. Uniting Hindus to dragnet the Hindu vote was vastly important to Hindutva as India, which is almost 80 percent Hindu, has numerous political parties.

  • 1
  • 2
Tags:
Christians in the Middle EastIndia
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
HIDILYN DIAZ
Cerith Gardiner
Gold-winning Filipina Olympian shares her Miraculous Medal for th...
2
SIMONE BILES
Cerith Gardiner
Simone Biles leaves the Olympics with an important lesson for her...
3
PRINCESS DIANA AND MOTHER TERESA
Mathilde De Robien
Did you know Princess Di was buried with a rosary?
4
Zelda Caldwell
World-record winning gymnast Simone Biles leans on her Catholic f...
5
JEDZENIE
Theresa Civantos Barber
The one thing we all should do before this summer ends
6
Zelda Caldwell
German women’s gymnastics teams modest dress protests sport’s ...
7
Lauren Daigle
J-P Mauro
After 3 years Lauren Daigle ousts herself from #1 Billboard spot
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.