Targeted violence and hate crimes against the Christian community in India continued unabated in 2018, according to the Evangelical Fellowship of India (EFI).
The Religious Liberty Commission of the EFI has recorded 325 incidents where Christians have been targeted using violence, intimidation or harassment.
According to a report published by the group, ‘More than the numbers, what is disturbing is the sudden spurt of violence in a few districts of Uttar Pradesh, the country’s most populous province, and in Tamil Nadu in the extreme south of the subcontinent’.
The report added, ‘Most cases go unreported either because the victim and witnesses are terrified, or the police, especially in the northern states, just turn a blind eye’.
With general elections due in April or May 2019, attempts at religious polarisation are at an all-time high. Speeches by politicians have acted as a catalyst in the dividing of people along religious, ethnic and even linguistic lines.
According to the Centre for Study of Society and Secularism, last year witnessed 84 incidents of mob lynching resulting in the loss of 60 lives and the injury of 102 people.