With Prime Minister Narendra Modi starting his second term after leading his pro-Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to victory in India’s recent election, complaints of violence are growing from the country’s persecuted Christians.
Hindu groups supporting the BJP have been promoting claims that India is the land of Hindus and religious minorities should accept Hindu dominance if they want to live there. Open Doors, an international group monitoring religious freedom, ranks India as the 10th most dangerous country for Christians to live in.
Allen Brooks, a Christian leader based in Assam state in eastern India, said the denial of justice to Christians is specifically witnessed in the states ruled by the BJP. Police and civil administration, as well as laws, are used against Christians in a meticulous manner, he said. “Intimidation and threats against Christians have become the new normal. Laws, police and investigations are employed to harass Christians,” Brooks said.
India’s latest census of 2011 showed that Hindus formed 966 million or 80 percent of India’s population of 1.3 billion. Muslims accounted for 172 million or 14 percent, while Christians comprised 29 million or 2.3 percent.