Attacks on Indian Christians Up in 2019 As Election Season Approaches

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

by Jordan Hilger, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) - Four Christian home meetings were disrupted in India’s Tamil Nadu state in the last two months, as persecution by Hindu nationalists intensifies in the run-up to national elections.

Pastor Raju, leader of a home group in Tiruchirappalli District, sought help from local police on February 19th after a group of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) stalwarts broke in and forced his meeting to scatter.

“We never faced such opposition in the past 15 years,” he observed in light of the recent escalation in attacks on Christian minorities, which saw 28 more incidents of violence against Christians in January and February of 2019 than in the first two months of last year.

Release International attributes the uptick to upcoming Indian elections, which begin on April 11th, in which Narendra Modi’s religious nationalist agenda faces a potential existential threat in contender Rahul Gandhi.

“The last five years under the Modi regime have seen a sharp rise in mob attacks on minorities, both Christian and Muslim, across India,” noted Indian human rights leader Shabnam Hashmi in regard to the change of political climate that has occurred under India’s Prime Minister.

“Nothing short of a defeat of Modi’s regime in the upcoming elections can change the situation,” she said.

India has jumped 21 spaces on Open Doors USA’s World Watch List since Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party was elected to power in 2014.