A BRIDGE BETWEEN THE CHURCH & ADMINISTRATION
Many a times, we find that when we are confronted with certain issues, we are not aware who can help us. So, they don’t get addressed by the right person at the right time, because of which the problem aggravates and we are unable to achieve ‘comprehensive’ change.
Persecution Relief fills that crucial gap by standing as a representative of the persecuted people, highlighting prejudicial government policies to the ruling Party, by influencing and bringing awareness about the issues that plague the Christian Community, and championing policies that stop persecution and violence. Our objective is to achieve freedom to worship Jesus Christ.
Police inaction and impunity:
The large-scale impunity or liberty enjoyed by the perpetrators of mob violence across the country is the direct result of violence against religious minorities in India
- Many victims of violence complain about the lack of Police action, including hostility towards Christians
- Police who are to be the ‘guardians of the law’, most times verbally abuse, make Christians sign a blank paper saying he would not file a police complaint against the attackers
- Police resist filing criminal complaints and have on several instances allegedly threatened to falsely incriminate victims or have even booked them on false cases
- Christians are implicated on false cases of conversion and detained unlawfully for months on end without any trial or hearing
- Police refuse to accept a complaint or lodge an FIR against the perpetrators
- Police are very partial in offering protection and in spite of raising a petition, they are not registered and no action is taken against the accused persons
- Police fail to provide adequate protection to witnesses, many of whom later retracted their statements made to the police, allegedly due to fear and intimidations
- Even in cases where government claims it took strict action against the accused, though FIR’s are filed, very few cases end in convictions. Most are convicted for smaller or “petty” offences
- The hostility of the state machinery and apathy of the state administration is worrisome
- Government needs to curb societal hostility and mob mentality which are the primary dangers to Christians; instead ruling party leaders instigate and inflame sentiments of majority
- Government inaction polarizes society, fuels hatred, anger, rage in the mind of citizens
- Several State Governments fail to effectively prosecute those accused of carrying out violent attacks against the Christian community
- Our reports show that Christians in India have suffered about 150 violent attacks on an average in the past few years. These attacks include physical and sexual assaults, murder and desecration of places of worship and graveyards
- The government fails to ensure justice and security to the Christian victims of communal violence, or provide adequate compensation to the victims.
- There are several attempts to regulate the media. Journalists and newspapers are supposed to be the voice of the people. However, laws are being instituted and amended to suit the people in government and to silent dissent
- News Channels and Journalists are unjustly banned with the gag order - an attack on freedom of press and democracy
- Bullying of media houses and news outlets that are critical of the government goes on unabated
- The Press are suppressed using various techniques of suppression such as raids by the CBI, Income Tax department raids, threats of criminal defamation, costly litigation suits and maligning the editor forcing them to resign are some of the tactics.
What does Persecution Relief do?
- Persecution Relief makes the Church aware of the “Policies, Regulations & Rules” that the Central and State Government institutes.
- Our intent is to engage Churches, Organisations, Decision Makers and individuals, bringing important issues to the forefront, so as to positively influence conversation about fundamental rights and drive Policy changes.
- We write letters to the concerned Government Officials, Police Officials, Politicians about the injustices perpetrated, use appropriate forms of dialogue to raise concerns about the status of religious minorities and the impunity enjoyed by Hindutva forces, and make them aware about the truth.
- We share on-line petitions campaigning on issues that affect the Christian fraternity which elicits massive support and we share this with the Prime Minister’s Office and the concerned Government officials. We also use on-line petitions to raise concerns about persecution cases and falsely imprisoned cases. with the elected government officials.
- Our in-house magazine ‘Voice of the Christians’ is used as a vehicle to publish current pressing local and international news that are not covered by main-stream media.
- We connect with Journalists from various streams and encourage them to give ample media coverage about Christian persecution so that the government and people at large are aware.
- Persecution Relief team visits Churches, Bible Colleges, Conferences, Seminars etc. educating the churches on how to safe guard themselves in the current hostile climate.
- Children are affected directly, when they lose one or both parents due to violence or arrest or when they become victims to persecution for their faith in their community. They are not able to attend schools due to their religious faith, or having to live double lives, respecting the religion of their society while practicing Christianity in the privacy of their own homes. Persecution Relief has partnered with Colleges & Schools like BMM, KCC, IET etc. to provide free education to the martyred and persecuted children.