01/01/2022 India (International Christian Concern) – According to the United Christian Forum (UCF), 2021 ended as the “most violent year” in recorded history for India’s Christian minority. Across the entire year, UCF recorded 486 violent incidents of Christian persecution, topping the previous record of 328 incidents recorded in 2019.
Over the course of 2021, attacks on Christians and their places of worship were consistently reported across India. However, incidents of persecution dramatically accelerated in the final quarter of 2021, with almost 200 incidents being reported.
Many experts blame the continued proliferation of radical Hindu nationalism in India for the steady increase in persecution. These experts claim the anti-minority rhetoric and actions taken by radical Hindu nationalists are fueling an atmosphere of hatred and violence for Christians in India.
“The atmosphere of hatred spread by certain action and speeches by certain groups and the false propaganda of fraudulent and allurement means of conversion seem to be encouraging anti-social elements,” UCF stated in a recent press release. “It will not be exaggerating if it is said that these incidents are well-orchestrated and pre-planned acts by certain vested groups to divide the country on the basis or religion.”
In almost all 486 incidents reported by UCF, vigilante mobs, composed of religious extremists, were responsible for attacking Christian communities. In most cases, local authorities, including police, were either passive spectators or active participants in the violence. Sadly, First Information Reports (FIRs), police documents that initiate an investigation, were registered in only 34 of the 486 cases reported by UCF in 2021.
Unfortunately, the pace of Christian persecution only seems to be accelerating with the arrival of 2022. Whether 2022 will be as violent of a year as 2021 is yet to be seen.