There is growing concern over the Indian government’s failure to protect Christians from attacks, Release International has said.
The Christian advocacy agency staged a prayer vigil outside the India High Commission in London protesting at the way Christians have been left without protection and at the government’s anti-conversion laws.
During the vigil Release presented a 28,000-name petition on behalf of Indian Christians suffering violence from Hindu militants.
The petition calls on the Indian government to protect Christians from growing attacks from extremists and widening discriminatory legislation which is threatening church activities.
According to Release partners in India there have been 42 attacks against Christians in Andhra Pradesh alone during a six-month period during 2013.
They have recorded an average of two assaults a week against Christians in Karnataka State while Christians also face false accusations and detention.
Seven states have anti-conversion laws, which limit Christian witness and charitable and social programmes. The latest, awaiting presidential approval, is in Madhya Pradesh.
Paul Robinson, chief executive of Release, said, ‘We strongly urge the Government of India to uphold the rights of Christians under the constitution to practise and propagate their faith without fear of being falsely accused or imprisoned. We call on the Government of India to do everything in its power to stop these attacks on its own citizens and to bring those responsible to justice.’