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India’s Christians Troubled by Surge in Religious Persecution
11/05/2018 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – India’s Christian community is deeply troubled by the rising tide of religious persecution targeting pastors and their churches. Over the past two months, International Christian Concern (ICC) documented at least 67 incidents of persecution, beginning in September. Of these 67 incidents, 49 took place in Uttar Pradesh, one of the most populous states in northern India.

While documenting these cases, ICC spoke with many people on the ground in Uttar Pradesh, including Pastor Sanjay Robinson, a Christian leader in Lucknow. Pastor Robinson stated, “Pastors and Christian workers are terrified and worried about their survival as the attacks continue to rise in Uttar Pradesh. The trend of increased attacks will get worse as the election for the Loksabha is fast approaching.”

ICC also spoke with Pastor Vijay Massih, a pastor who was brutally attacked by Hindu radicals alongside two of his colleagues. On September 8, a mob of 50 people barged into a private gathering of 25 Christians who were meeting for a spiritual retreat. Pastor Massih reported that the Hindu radicals began hurling verbal abuses at the Christians before attacking the three pastors leading the retreat.

In describing the situation following the attack, Pastor Massih stated, “Our lives are in danger… Everything went against us following the incident, including negative publicity by print and electronic media leveling false charges of forcible conversions. Even the police have taken the side of the attackers.”

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