The Covid-19 pandemic and the long lockdown imposed to contain the spread of the virus have not stopped inter-religious violence and cases of attacks on Indian Christians. The first half of 2000 saw 121 incidents of violence against Christians in 15 states of the Indian Federation, as reported by a report sent to Fides News Agency by the “United Christian Forum” (UCF) of New Delhi.
According to the report, the incidents have taken the lives of two Christians, while among the attacks, 95 were “mob violence” committed by a crowd of extremists. Several churches attacked were either illegally occupied or sealed shut. An additional 20 incidents of social boycott or discrimination against the faithful took place in several areas, notes the UCF.
The States wherein violence against Christians have been reported are Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh (with a record of 32 episodes), Goa, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, and Uttar Pradesh. UCF and its networking partners – Alliance Defending Freedom India (ADF India), Religious Liberty Commission of Evangelical Fellowship of India (EFI) and Christian Legal Association (CLA) have managed to get 19 churches reopened, thanks to the work of lawyers and legal actions taken, 28 pastors released on bail or acquitted of false charges and obtained positive outcomes in 45 cases of “false conversion” charges in various courts of India.