PERSECUTION INDIA

Tippu Sultan (1795) captured nearly 60,000 people from Mangalorean Catholic community. 7,000 escaped. Tippu Sultan’s also did lot of damages and destruction to the first century Malankara (Syrian) St. Thomas Christians in Kerala. Tippu Sultan’s army set fire to the church at Palayoor and attacked the Ollur Church in 1790. Along with the old Syrian seminary at Angamaly, many churches in the Malabar and Cochin were damaged. The Mor Sabor church at Akaparambu and the Martha Mariam Church attached to the old seminary at Angamaly were brunt.

Muslims in India who convert to Christianity have been subjected to harassment, intimidation, and attacks by Muslims. In Jammu and Kashmir, the only Indian state with a Muslim majority, a Christian convert and missionary, Bashir Tantray, was killed, allegedly by militant Islamists in 2006. A Christian priest, K.K. Alavi, a 1970 convert from Islam, thereby raised the ire of his former Muslim community and received many death threats. An Islamic terrorist group named "The National Development Front" actively campaigned against him. In the southern state of India, Kerala which has an ancient pre-Islamic community of Eastern RiteChristians, Islamic Terrorists chopped off the hand of Professor T.J. Joseph due to allegation of blasphemy of prophet.

The Hindu nationalist Sangh Parivar and related organisations have stated that the violence is an expression of "spontaneous anger" of "vanvasis" against "forcible conversion" activities undertaken by missionaries. These claims have been disputed by Christians a belief described as mythical and propaganda by Sangh Parivar; the Parivar objects in any case to all conversions as a "threat to national unity". Religious scholar Cyril Veliath of Sophia University stated that the Hindu attacks on Christians were the work of individuals motivated by "disgruntled politicians or phony religious leaders" and where religion is concerned the typical Hindu is an "exceptionally amicable and tolerant person Hinduism as a religion could well be one of the most accommodating in the world. Rather than confront and destroy, it has a tendency to welcome and assimilate." According to Rudolf C Heredia, religious conversion was a critical issue even before the creation of the modern state. Mohandas K. Gandhi opposed the Christian missionaries calling them as the remnants of colonial Western culture. He claimed that by converting into Christianity, Hindus have changed their nationality.

In its controversial annual human rights reports for 1999, the United States Department of State criticised India for "increasing societal violence against Christians." The report listed over 90 incidents of anti-Christian violence, ranging from damage of religious property to violence against Christians pilgrims. In 1997, twenty-four such incidents were reported. Recent waves of anti-conversion laws passed by some Indian states like Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh is claimed to be a gradual and continuous institutionalization of Hindutva by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labour of the US State Department.

Today Christians make up 19 percent of the population of the southwest state of Kerala, where they still live in peace with their Hindu neighbours. Ironically, they have cooperated with a leftist government there to produce the highest literacy and best health care in all of India.

Anti-Christian violence in India Hindu-Christian relations, however, are not so good in other parts of India. The western state of Orissa has been the focus of persecution of Christians for several years. The murder of Graham Staines and his two sons was just one of many recent atrocities. Staines and his wife had worked among the lepers of Orissa since the early 1980s. They had built up much good will among the indigenous hill people, who, for centuries, had lived on the margins of Hindu culture.

Hindu fundamentalists in Orissa objected to all missionary activity, and they were successful in passing a state law that prohibited religious conversions. On January 22, 1999, Staines and his two sons (left) were burned alive while they were sleeping in their station wagon. Eleven men were arrested and given life terms for their horrific crime.

In August and September of 2008, as many as 40 Christians were killed in riots that erupted after the death of a Hindu religious leader. Maoist rebels claimed responsibility for the assassination, but Hindu fundamentalists chose to blame Christians instead. The New York Times reported that "3,000 Christian homes were burned and over 130 churches destroyed."

A Roman Catholic nun in the Orissa village of Nuagaon charged that she had been gang raped by a mob of men and, along with a priest, paraded through the streets naked. She claimed that the police stood by and refused to investigate the allegations. The police responded saying that the nun refused to come forward and identify five men who have been arrested.

All this refers to religiously-motivated violence against Christians in India, usually perpetrated by Hindu nationalists. The acts of violence include arson of churches, re-conversion of Christians to Hinduism by force and threats of physical violence, distribution of threatening literature, burning of Bibles, raping of nuns, murder of Christian priests and destruction of Christian schools, colleges, and cemeteries. Violence against Christians has been seen by Human Rights organization as a tactic used to meet political ends. According to a Human Rights Watch report that was published in September 1999, the number of incidents of anti-Christian violence rose in the months following the victory of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in March 1998. In early 2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a strong pitch about his government's commitment to maintaining peace and religious harmony and said that his government will strongly act against acts of religious violence. Speaking at the celebration of the elevation to Sainthood of Father Kuriakose Elias Chavara and Sister Euphrasia, Modi said, "The tradition of welcoming all faiths in India is as old as India itself...We believe that there is truth in every religion. This is critical for peace and harmony in the nation." From Wikipedia

Speaking to TIME, on May 7th 2015 Prime Minister Modi insists his government is committed to preserving the rights of his nation’s religious minorities. “Wherever an individual view might have been expressed with regard to a particular minority religion, we have immediately negated that,” he says. “So far as the government is concerned, there is only one holy book, which is the constitution of India. My government will not tolerate or accept any discrimination based on caste, creed and religion.”