by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) - The intensifying persecution of believers by Hindu nationalists in India has now even caught the attention of mainstream international media, with the Guardian UK joining Christian organizations in reporting on a spate of attacks against Christianity in the country over the Christmas period.
The Guardian reports that Christmas celebrations across the country were marred as vandals smashed statues of Jesus, and Hindu protestors disrupted numerous church services.
In just some examples of the anti-Christian actions, in Assam two protesters entered a Presbyterian church and demanded that any Hindus should leave. “Let only Christian celebrate Christmas,” one man said. “We are against Hindu boys and girls participating in Christmas functions. How will our religion survive?” In Matridham Ashram in Uttar Pradesh, a Christmas event was targeted by Hindu protestors who gathered outside shouting “stop conversions” and “death to missionaries.” In Chhattisgarh, several pastors were violently attacked, the Guardian reported.
According to the Guardian, “Christian missionaries have had their bibles set alight and Christian schools have been disrupted by right-wing groups who allege that Christians are forcing Hindus into converting by offering them money and gifts.”
The persecution of Christians in India has intensified since the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party came to power in 2014. As Hindu radicals became emboldened by the government, attacks on Christians increased by 60% from 2016 to 2019, the Guardian reports. India ranks 10 on the US Open Doors Watch List 2021 of top 50 countries where Christians are persecuted; it had ranked 31 in 2013.