CSF Indian Christian Persecution Report 2016 – Attacks Rise 3 fold: 10 Murders, Rapes, Arrests, Violence – 12,000 Victims
January 23, 2017 by admin
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Catholic Forum Indian Christian Persecution Report 2016 Records Sharp Spike in Attacks
Chhattisgarh No. 1 Rogue State. Foreign Missionaries / Charities & Indian Churches Targeted
CSF Estimates 12,000 Victims, Highlights 10 Murders, Torture in 25 States, 1 Major Incident a Day, etc.
4000 Nuns, Women, Seniors & Children Believers Abused. India Rises on World Persecuted List. 500 Clergy & Leaders Involved
India’s Christian persecution watchdog activist NGO, the Catholic Secular Forum (CSF), that has documented attacks on the community since over a decade has released its “Indian Christian Persecution 2016 Report”. The CSF annual report is universally appreciated and quoted internationally on Christian religious liberty issues in the country.
Justice Michael Saldanha (Retd), CSF Chairman & Ex – Judge, Bombay & Karnataka High Court
INDIAN CHRISTIAN PERSECUTION 2016 REPORT – A SYNOPSIS
Christian Cleansing: India is increasingly becoming a country where it is dangerous to be a Christian and the persecution though comes in majorly ( over 97 % ) from Hindutva extremists, in 2016 there have also been instances reported of Indian Christians being targeted by fundamentalists of other faiths, like Muslims and Sikhs too. Our focus on Hindutva extremism is simply because of its overwhelming majority (over 85 % of the Indian populace), encompassing not just huge political & economic power, but also every facet of Indian lifestyle, besides communalizing forces like the police or patronizing fringe groups, who never hesitate to use violence for physically eliminate Christians/secularists and destroying their properties, institutions, leaders, NGOs, etc.
Communal Cauldron: Other minorities like Sikhs, Muslims, Buddhists are known to have retaliated, when targeted and hence, it is only Christians who are commanded by their faith not to resort to violence who run the risk of total annihilation. The micro-minority ( 2.5 % ) Christians will not be able to survive a bloodbath of the likes of post 1947 Partition or during the Ram Janmabhoomi riots, as was evidenced during the Odisha or Karnataka anti-Christian riots, where hundreds were killed, scores of churches destroyed, thousands displaced and economically crippled. Further, Islamic radicalism fast gained a foothold in India in 2016, with evidences of ISIS recruits, love jihad, Zakir Naik, SIMI, etc. against Christians also being found. The Hindus and followers of other religions are well-equipped to deal with the situation, but not Christians who are soft targets. Hence, religious cleansing of Christians will not be difficult, as and when the fundamentalists decide.
OBSERVATIONS & HIGHLIGHTS
India 2016 – in Brief:
Tortured Across Over 25 States
Minimum 365 – An Incident per Day
Chhattisgarh & Tamil Nadu Top as Rogue States
Uttar Pradesh & Madhya Pradesh in Top 3 States
Karnataka, Telangana and Punjab in Top 5 States
Maharashtra with Maximum Potential Hindutva Lab
In Top 10 States – Jharkhand, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand & Odisha
Profile of the Persecuted:
10 Killed. Minimum 12,000 Victims
4000 Women & 2000 Children Involved
500 + Clergy & Community Leaders Targeted
Types of Major Instances Documented:
A Killed/Murdered/Death 10
B Beaten/Assaulted/Manhandled 145
C Nuns/Women Beaten/Molested/Raped 34
D Church Broken/Ransacked/Demolished/Shut Down 53
E House Broken/Car/Bike/Belongings Destroyed 11
F Worship Meeting Disrupted/Stopped 91
G Christians Detained Arrested/Jailed 394
H Threat/Abuse 85
I Foreign Missionaries Targeted 3
J Others – Ghar Whapsi, Love Jihad, Hate Speech 18
ROAD MAP FOR 2017
1. Appeal to Prime Minister to Rein In Fringe Elements: The CSF commends Narendra Modi on the successes the Indian Government has achieved in the economic sphere. However, the PM’s and India’s image is being tarnished overseas, especially in Europe, America and among developed nations for attacks on Christians, which is avoidable as it affects friendly relations.
2. Minority Refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan: The CSF offers to work hand in hand with India to rehabilitate minority refugees from neighbouring countries – Pakistan, Bangladesh & Afghanistan. The CSF thanks the Indian Government for the Citizenship Amendment Act introduced in Lok Sabha by the Union Home Minister on 19 July 2016. However, it has urged that other countries like Sri Lanka be added to the list.
3. Pope Francis Requested to Declare Kandhamal Victims Martyrs: The CSF urges the Holy Father to declare the nearly 100 Christians murdered in the Odisha 2008 anti-Christian riots – “Martyrs of Kandhamal” – since the 2016 opening of their cause for sainthood is a time consuming process. As Cardinal Gracias had initiated it, The CSF calls upon His Eminence to personally speak to Pope Francis and expedite the issue. The Archbishop of Bombay, is also president of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences and among Pope Francis’ “Council of Nine” cardinals.
4. American President, Donald Trump Urged to Use Good Offices with PM Modi: The CSF requests the President of the US (POTUS) to speak to Indian premier, Narendra Modi to ensure protection to hapless Christians, especially on issues related to FCRA (Compassion International) and attacks on clergy and community leaders, who raise freedom of religion issues and are targeted by Hindutva and radical Islamic forces. They are defenseless in the face such violent provocation and commanded by their faith not to retaliate. A number of UN/US lawmakers and government commissions have mentioned this in their reports.
URGENT ACTION IMPERATIVES
1. Rogue State # 1 Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Needs to Act Fast – Ever since 2003 when Dr. Raman Singh took over as CM, persecution has been rising and rising rapidly. In 2016, nuns were raped, three Christians were murdered, priests and pastors jailed, hundreds tortured as Christians, thousands of believers persecuted and brutally assaulted. PM Modi needs to ensure persecution stops.
2. Tamil Nadu Rose to # 2 with Hindutva, Politics & Caste at Play – The saffron brigade looking to saturate its footprint to every corner of the country is aggressively fishing in Southern India causing communal discord here. Christians were known to be close to the DMK and so when Jayalalitha became CM, the community expected that they would be at the receiving end. Dalit Christians were immensely targeted during 2016 where the ruling upper castes hit back to bring TN right to the top of the persecuted list.
3. Elections Cause Persecution Hike & Fringe Elements Ruling in BJP ruled States – The 2017 polls in states like UP, HP, Goa, Punjab, Gujarat, Manipur and Uttarakhand, besides BJP expanding its footprint for 2016 state polls ensured greater persecution of Christians as the services of fringe and radical Hindutva criminal services were in great demand. This caused heightened persecution in UP and BJP ruled states and is expected to get only worse in the current year – unless the civilized world screams.
OVERVIEW OF INDIAN CHRISTIAN PERSECUTION 2016
2017 Elections Force Spike: India climbs high on the list of nations with increasing persecution recorded with the post 2014 election of the BJP in the Union and in states in the last year. 2017 is expected to see further saffron consolidation with polls scheduled in at least 7 more states – Goa, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Manipur, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
America’s USCIRF (US Commission for International Religious Freedom) has retained India in the Tier-2 Countries on religious freedom. India has been placed in Tier-2 since 2009. Others listed in the Tier-2 countries are Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Cuba, Indonesia, Kazakhastan, Laos, Malaysia, Russia and Turkey.
India has risen to No 15 on the 2017 World Watch List, up from 31 four years ago and 28 in 2014. The list, compiled by Open Doors, is headed by North Korea for the 16th year in a row. The watchdog estimated that a church was burnt down or a cleric beaten on average 10 times a week in India in the year up to 31 October 2016, a threefold increase on the previous year.
RSS Watch 2016
Target 1 Lakh Branches: The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) worked towards increasing its number of Shakhas (branches) to over one lakh across the nation. Currently, it has about 57,000 active Shakhas in the country. RSS functionaries told the media that there was jump of over 4,500 last year in comparison to 2015. About 51,000 branches were operating in the country from over 33,000 locations in 2015, that increased to nearly 57,000 in 2016, spread across 37,000 locations, which is billed as highest growth since 1925. There are reports of about 8,000 people who were brought back to “ghar” (reconverted) from Christianity in newly formed Telangana and Andhra Pradesh alone.
RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat also made a significant statement that the change in society was brought by the activists who were earning and married. Thus far, the Sangh Parivar was dominated by unmarried men, who dedicated their lives for the organization and its activities. Now with the public stance in favour of including not just the married, but also those of lower castes, tribes and economically backward, the RSS has increased its appeal manifold. The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) celebrated its 91st Foundation Day in 2016 with a change from its khaki shorts to dark brown trousers. Over 8 lakh trousers were distributed, including 6 lakh stitched trousers, and cloth for another 2 lakh handed over to RSS offices in different parts of the country.
In order to assist the BJP during the 2017 elections in many states and the 2019 general polls, including those in crucially important Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and BJP-ruled states, the RSS initiated in 2016, the ‘setu’ (bridge) program, which entail RSS workers to reach out thousands of families in poll bound states, listing out centrally-sponsored schemes such as the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) scheme, which provides food, preschool education, and primary healthcare to children under 6 years of age and their mothers. Volunteers (Karyakartas) are divided into groups of five, with at least two women, and one member between 18-25. These groups will have pockets allotted to them where they will oversee whether the mid day meals are being provided, immunization is being offered and if there are people in need of skill development.