01/02/2022 India (International Christian Concern) – According to the Bharat Times, Rahul Gandhi, leader of the Indian National Congress, claimed “the world is watching” while reacting to a New York Times article regarding Christian persecution in India.
Citing the New York Times article entitled ‘Arrests, Beatings, and Secret Prayers: Inside the Persecution of India’s Christians’, Rahul Gandhi tweeted, “While many in our country have their heads buried in the sand, the world is watching. In times of injustice, silence is collusion.”
The New York Times article documented the rise in attacks on Christians and their places of worship in India. Much of the anti-Christian violence can be traced back to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) nationalistic ideology that views India as a Hindu nation.
Recently, the United Christian Forum (UCF) in India published a report documenting 2021 as the most violent year in recorded history for India’s Christians. According to that report, there were 486 documented attacks on Indian Christians in 2021. This easily topped the previous record of 328 attacks recorded in 2019.
Since the BJP took power in 2014, documented attacks on Christians in India have steadily risen from 147 in 2014 to 486 in 2021. Anti-Christian rhetoric used by BJP politicians for political gain has fueled an atmosphere of religious intolerance across India. In many cases, attacks on Christians are instigated by the anti-Christian rhetoric used by BJP politicians.
Additionally, widespread impunity enjoyed by the perpetrators of anti-Christian violence has led radical Hindu nationalists to believe they have the tacit approval of the government to attack Christian communities. With the start of a new year, many Christians in India fear the violence against their community will only continue to escalate.