NEW DELHI: Over 200 incidents of violence against Christians have been reported this year so far, according to data compiled by advocacy group Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), India. The total number of FIRs registered was 25, it stated.
The cases were reported on a helpline number.
Of the 218 incidents of violence reported, 159 incidents were in the form of intimidation and threats by a vigilante mob, according to the report.
On average, 27 incidents have been recorded over the last eight months.
This is a rise from last year’s 20 such incidents on an average every month. Over 120 women and 180 children were reportedly injured during these incidents.
The highest number of cases was reported from Uttar Pradesh at 51, followed by 41 in Tamil Nadu, 24 in Chhattisgarh, 17 in Jharkhand, 16 in Karnataka, 14 in Telangana, 12 in Andhra Pradesh, nine in Maharashtra, six in Haryana and five in Bihar.
According to the World Watch List 2019, India ranks 10th among the 50 countries where it is dangerous for Christians to live.
In 2014, India ranked 28th on that list.The attacks on Christians have been on the rise since 2014. That year, 147 cases were reported, and the numbers increased to 177 the following year.
In 2016, it went up to 208 and 240 in 2017. Over 290 cases were brought to ADF’s notice during 2018.
According to ADF India, the low number of FIRs registered indicates there is fear of reprisal.
The report states that in the cases of violence reported, a mob -- accompanied by the police -- arrive at the prayer service, shouts slogans and beats up members of the congregation, including women and children. The report also mentions pastors are arrested or detained for ‘false allegation of conversion’.
“What’s more important to notice is that till today none of these false allegations has ever been sustained in a court of law,” said the report.