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Persecution of Christians under Modi increased dramatically
Open Doors asks Chancellor Merkel to urge religious freedom

30.05.2017 – 18:10

Open Doors Germany e.V.

Kelkheim (ots)

While Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi presents himself as a cosmopolitan statesman at his meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel, an aggressive Hindu nationalism is being promoted at the instigation of Modi's BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party). Of the approximately 64 million Christians in India, 39 million face high levels of persecution. Modi condemned the Palm Sunday attacks on two churches in Egypt, but there were attacks on five churches in India on the same day.

About 80 attacks against Christians every month

The attacks against Christians have steadily increased under Modi. In 2014 there were 147, in 2016 the number was 443. In 2017, the aid organization, which works for persecuted Christians around the world, had reported almost 250 attacks by the end of March. These include massive abuse of pastors, attacks on church services, rape of Christian girls or nuns and the destruction of churches.

Religious freedom only exists on paper, despite being anchored in the constitution. The Hindutva program "India for the Indians" promoted by Modi ensures that attacks against Christians are rarely punished. Christian activities and leaders are monitored. Christians of Hindu origin are often massively harassed, beaten or even killed. In mass events by extremist Hindus, the casteless Dalits in particular are forced to renounce their Christian faith. There are anti-conversion laws in five states. However, a forced return to Hinduism - called Ghar Wapsi - is allowed. On the Open Doors World Persecution Index, the ranking of the 50 countries in which Christians are persecuted the hardest, India is currently ranked 15th as it has never been before.

Markus Rode, head of Open Doors Germany, asks Chancellor Merkel to stand up for religious freedom and the protection of Christians in India in her talks with Modi: "We ask the Chancellor to urge religious freedom. The increasing persecution of Christians under Modi's regime must not be a taboo subject that is sacrificed to economic interests. "

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Original content from: Open Doors Deutschland e.V., transmitted by news aktuell