Hate crimes in opposition to Indian Christians have been reported to extend regardless of the ban
According to a new report, hate crimes against Christians in India increased by 40% in the first half of 2020 despite a three-month ban across the country.
In a report released on July 29, the ecumenical group Persecution Relief said it had documented 293 incidents between January and June, including six murder and five rape cases.
"Compared to 208 incidents last year, there was a worrying 40.87% increase this year, despite the total nationwide ban that has been imposed for nearly three months," the report said.
The authors highlighted the persecution in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, where 63 reported hate crimes took place. Uttar Pradesh has been described as "the most hostile state to Christians in India" and has accused local authorities of helping extremists.
According to the report, Tamil Nadu in southern India was the next worst state for Christians, with 28 cases recorded, followed by the eastern central state of Chhattisgarh with 22 cases.
Persecution Relief, founded by Indian Christian Shibu Thomas, has documented more than 2,000 incidents since it started in 2016.
Thomas said: “The vicious cruelty of these crimes reveals the corrupt mentality and attitudes of the religious extremists of the time. This frightening and dangerous crusade between religious nationalism and intolerance has now culminated in new inhuman heights. "
India, which is expected to overtake China as the world's most populous country within the next decade, is ranked the tenth-worst persecutor of Christians worldwide by the charity Open Doors.
Open Doors said that persecution of religious minorities has increased since the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata party came to power in 2014, with thousands of incidents per year. She accused the ruling party of allowing extremists to attack Christians with impunity.
In April, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom urged the US State Department to put India on a list of "countries of particular concern" for attacks on minorities.
In a note introducing the Persecution Relief report, Thomas asked, “How did all of this happen in the midst of the largest and longest lock in the world recently? Shouldn't every citizen obey the government protocol? Did the authorities try to stop them? Who should be held responsible for the barbaric attitude of religious extremists in India? "