Plight of 30 million Christians has worsened since Modi came to power in India in 2014: French newspaper

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New Delhi: In India, Hindutva activists used laws criminalizing religious conversions to sow terror, particularly among evangelical communities, writes a French daily afternoon newspaper.

The newspaper carries a report on the discriminatory treatment of Christian minority in India in its latest publication.

The newspaper said, “Nationalists operate not just in Uttar Pradesh but across North India, where the BJP and nationalist networks are strongly established.”

“Eleven of the twenty-eight Indian states are now armed with anti-conversion legislation. Between January and July, in just six months, sixty-three cases of forced conversions were recorded against Christians, and thirty-five pastors were imprisoned,” it added.

“This law is a very effective tool for Hindu nationalists to get rid of all Christian, religious, charitable, educational, medical institutions. It is formidable because it has reversed the burden of proof; it is up to the victims to demonstrate their innocence,” accuses a lawyer who appealed to the Supreme Court to try to demonstrate the illegality of this law.

The lawyer, who requested anonymity, emphasizes that nationalist activists do not have standing to act. According to the law, only the “affected person, his parents, his brother, his sister or any other person related by blood, marriage or adoption can file a complaint”.

As per the newspaper, since the coming to power in 2014 of Narendra Modi, champion of a Hindu state breaking with the secular India desired by the founding fathers, the situation of thirty million Christians – Catholics, Protestants, evangelists, Pentecostals – has constantly deteriorated. The association United Christian Forum for Human Rights (UCF), based in Delhi, which has offered, since January 19, 2015, a free telephone assistance service to people in distress, has monitored the evolution of the number of acts of violence: from 147 incidents in 2014, the association recorded 328 in 2019, 599 in 2022 and 687 between January and November 2023.”

That is, two attacks per day committed against Christians and churches. Most of these acts occurred in the north of India, and especially in Uttar Pradesh.

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