Christian Persecution in India

  • Raven Gale

    More than twenty people have been killed and scores injured in the riots against Christians in India. Crazed mobs of firebrand Hindu extremists have been on a rampage burning churches and attacking Christian villagers. So far the violence is in three Indian states but is poised to spread further.

    Pope Benedict has condemned the violence against Christians and Roman Catholic Bishops are appalled at the hatred unleashed by hard line fundamentalist Hindus who constitute the majority in India’s Hindu population. The violence continues unabated.

    Thousands of Hindus are laying siege to police stations where arrested Hindu extremists are lodged demanding their release. Last month Christian homes were torched and now Christians are fleeing for their lives chased by Hindus. Hindu nationalism has been rising steadily and zealots are persecuting because low caste suppressed Hindus seek release from oppression and atrocities by converting to Christianity.

    In just one state over 20 churches have been destroyed by Hindu mobs over the last ten days. The central and state governments have not taken any real steps to stem the violence and there is talk of deliberate inaction to discourage Hindus converting to Christianity. In fact nationalist Hindu political parties may be actually encouraging the violence.

    Bollywood films and human rights groups have been highlighting the treatment of lower caste Hindus who do the filthiest jobs, live in abject poverty and whose women are abused and raped.

    Violence against Christians is not a new phenomenon but is overshadowed by the Hindu hatred against Muslims that frequently leads to horrendous communal violence. The bombings in Indian cities by shadowy Mujahideen are a retaliation against India’s discriminatory policies and fragile internal security environment.

    India’s brutalized security forces have inordinately high suicide rates and this is causing concern both in the Army and Air Forces. The dreadful scandal of a General raping a subordinate has been followed by the suicide trend. More than 18 young airmen have taken their lives so far in 2008. this is apparently due to the socio economic problems faced by their families in a caste and inequality ridden society.

    In the rural areas farmers are fighting to save their lands as the government sseks to acquire land for Special Economic Zones. The farmers say that their land is worth ten times what they are being offered. This is leading to unrest and riots. Labor-Management tussles were starkly highlighted by the brutal killing of the CEO of a multinational---he was beaten to death during an arbitration session.