Christians in India still in fear – ten years after religious violence killed 45
By Marcus Jones
Christians in India are marking the ten year anniversary of religious violence which saw 45 believers killed and over a thousand homes destroyed.
Extremist Hindus rioted in Odisha, accusing Christians of murdering of a prominent member of the Hindu-movement – something the churches denied.
While perpetrators were eventually brought to justice, attacks on Christians in the region continue.
India was ranked number one when it comes to countries with high social hostility against religious groups, by the most recent 2016 Pew Research Centre report.
In India, Christians, Muslims and other religious minorities face the highest hostility.
The United Christian Forum toll-free helpline has reported more than 600 cases of attacks on Christians since 2014. Last year alone, saw over 200 incidents reported.
According to religious freedom charity ADF International, it’s left many living in fear.
Speaking to Premier, Tehmina Arora from ADF, said: “Ten years on, there are still small pockets where Christians would find it difficult to go back.
“Many Christians have abandoned their homes, their fields because it is no longer safe for them.”
Encouraging prayer for Christians in India, she said: “Violence is real and fear is still real so pray for safety for them.
“Pray also for wisdom and discernment for the government that they would be able to respond quickly when they hear of the violence.”
Memorials took place yesterday to remember all those who died in the Odisha riots.