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India: need for religious freedom

July 2019

India’s recent elections, which saw Prime Minister Narendra Modi return with a bigger majority, have been taken as an opportunity to highlight the plight of Christians in the country.

Release International issued a call for the nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to loosen the tightening nationalist grip on India, which has in recent years led to increasing violence against Christians and other minorities at the hands of Hindu extremists.

According to figures from Release, attacks against Christians have more than doubled since the BJP came to power in 2014. That year, Christians suffered 147 attacks. By the end of the BJP’s first term in office, the number reached 325. In 2018, violence against Christians rose 57 per cent, according to the Evangelical Fellowship of India.