Christian persecution by Hindus rises in India, say humanitarian groups
The latest extremist attacks against Christians in 2016 thus far have come from an unlikely source.
As Christianity has seemingly been under attack in places like Iraq, Syria, and Africa for over a decade from extremist groups like ISIS and Al Shabaab, the first six weeks of 2016 have seen a fresh outbreak of anti-Christian violence in India with nearly 30 incidents of religiously motivated violence against Christians reported in just over two months.
While it follows a global trend, it’s Hindu nationalists leading efforts of persecution and attacks.
“His silence is tacit approval…He needs to come out again and reign in his party.”
– Jeff King, ICC
According to various news reports, there have been 26 documented incidents of religiously motivated violence against Christians spread across the subcontinent since Jan. 1. Incidents of violence against Christians have always existed in one form or another, but were usually limited to a particular region or issue.
However, the violence has begun to spread with Hindu radicals enjoying near complete impunity for their actions.
“They are wolves in sheep’s clothing,” Jeff King, president of the International Christian Concern, told FoxNews.com. “There has been an increase in attacks because these nationalists feel emboldened with [Prime Minister Narendra] Modi in power.
Religious Demographics of India
Local police officials took no action against the aggressors in many of the incidents. One such was Jan. 29 in the southeastern state of Tamil Nadu when a mob of over 30 radicals in the village of Ettimadai ruthlessly attacked, beat, and dragged a Catholic priest and three church officials from their car.
All four men tried to flee from the mob but were eventually caught. The mob then dragged and beat them for a mile and a half. Despite pleas for help during the incident, police stood idly by.
All four men were hospitalized as a result, with the priest requiring treatment in the intensive care unit of a nearby hospital.
The group was first approached by the mob while they were waiting in their car outside the police station to speak with authorities regarding the arrest of a priest and two others from an AIDS/HIV clinic run by the church.
Just two weeks earlier, in the Nizamabad District of Telangana State, a local pastor and members of his congregation were savagely beaten by a mob of 40 Hindu radicals after they falsely accused him of trying to convert Hindus to Christianity.
According to locals, the attack occurred during a Christian prayer gathering and resulted in the hospitalization of six, including a four-year-old girl whose leg was broken during the attack.
“It was [a] very scary scene,” Pastor Nitin Kumar, recently recounted to humanitarian group International Christian Concern. “They tore my cassock and I received blows, punches, [and] kicks from all directions as I was their prime target. [Our] Bibles were snatched from us and were tore and trampled. [Other] believers ran to all directions as they were chased by the mob.”
And just last Sunday, a Pentecostal church in the Chhattisgarh state was attacked by a mob believed to have been a part of the militant Hindu Bajrang Dal organization. They were alleged to have entered the church during prayer services and broke chairs, fans and musical equipment, according to Christian Today. It was the fourth attack on churchgoers in the region over the last six weeks.
While attacks against Christians have occurred for quite some time, the problem has seemingly become widespread after the election of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the rise of the Bharatiya Janata Party or the Indian People’s Party. The BJP believes in what is known as Hindutva—a cultural nationalism which favors Indian culture over westernization.
“Since 2014 there has been a significant increase in attacks on Christians and Christian communities by radical Hindu forces in India,” David Curry, president and CEO of Open Doors USA told FoxNews.com. “The government, which came into power with the election of Prime Minister Narendra Modi of the Bharatiya Janata Party, has strong Hindu nationalist ties. As a result, radical Hinduism, which was already present under the previous government, has increased steadily.”
And while Modi and the BDP have not publicly praised the attacks, they aren’t publicly opposing them either.
“The central government has refused to speak out against the atrocities – thus further encouraging radical Hindus to step up their discrimination against Christians,” Curry added. “The government’s tolerance–if not promotion–of discrimination against Christians has led to a marked rise in the number of people within India openly pushing for a completely Hindu India.”
The rash of outbreaks led humanitarian groups like the ICC to campaign in Washington to put pressure on Modi and the BDP to stop the wave of extreme nationalism.
“His silence is tacit approval,” King of the ICC said. “Push came to shove once before and he [Modi] had to come out and say that India is tolerant and the nationalists backed down.
“And the most of the populace is very tolerant, but he needs to come out again and rein in his party.”
Late last month, a bipartisan letter was sent to Modi by eight U.S. senators and 26 members of Congress, requesting that he strongly and publicly condemn the acts of persecution.
But so far, there has been no response.
“The BJP will be silent unless there is political pressure,” King added. “With Congress coming out with this letter, with that rise in pressure, the party will have to address the issue.”
Perry Chiaramonte is a reporter for FoxNews.com.
The United States State Dept. has for 14 years refused to acknowledge the persecution of Christians in Pakistan. This transcends Republican & Democratic Party Presidents, Bush & Obama.
Following 2 pictures of Christian church bombing in Peshawar, Pakistan, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013. Over 80 killed, 150 injured. Two suicide bombers waited to explode their bombs until the church service ended and the worshipers were gathering for fellowship in the open yard with their families.
(Below): Sept. 24, 2013, funeral for some of the victims of the church bombing.
In Lahore, in March 2014, Pakistan mob attacks, burns, destroys 180 Christian homes & belongings.
Punjab Province, November, 2014: Christian couple falsely accused of desecrating a Quran were tortured, then thrown into a brick kiln and burned alive.
Abduction & sexual abuse of Christian girls:
Christian girls (ages 12-25) are routinely kidnapped by Muslims, forced to “convert” to Islam, and forced to marry a Muslim man. A report by the Movement for Solidarity and Peace in Pakistan states that at least 1,000 girls suffer this fate every year. Cases are seldom pursued by authorities. If a case gets to a court, the girls are abused until they declare their conversion & marriage were voluntary. Besides sexual abuse, sometimes they are forced into prostitution & human trafficking.
A Christian boy in Pakistan hanged for falling in love with Muslim girl
April 2016: A Christian boy in Pakistan has allegedly been hanged by Muslims who believed he was attached to a Muslim girl who lived opposite his brother’s house.
A report in the Pakistan Christian Post cites an investigation from The Voice Society which concluded 18-year-old Qaisar Masih was killed by the girl’s family in an attack led by her father, Mohammad Billa.
Article in Christian Post: April 26, 2016
Christian Woman Gang-Raped in Pakistan as Attacks Against Believers Escalate
A Christian woman in Pakistan was brutally attacked and gang-raped by two young Muslim men while her husband was away serving in the army.
The attackers also threatened the woman’s young daughter, the British Pakistani Christian Association said on Monday, forcing her to comply to their demands.
“The men treated me like an animal, telling me I was a worthless Christian, but I know my God is a great God. When I screamed they told me that they knew my husband was away and that I was unprotected. They threatened to kill my child if I did not comply with their perverse demands,” said the victim, 30-year-old Asia Mushtaq from the Toba Tak Singh district.
“They said Christian women are all whores and they would come back and repeat their debauchery if I ever told anyone. I feel so unclean now, but have done nothing wrong. I want these men to be punished and hope the law will protect me,” she added.
The husband, 32-year-old Shakil Khan, was on duty in Peshawar at the time serving the army.
The Muslim attackers knew that Khan was away when they entered the family home at night and attacked Mushtaq. They reportedly bound her wrists and ankles to the bed, before raping her, and threatened to kill her 2-year-old daughter if she resisted.
The Christian woman reported the violent attack at Rajanan Police Station first thing in the morning, and BPCA confirmed that a First Information Report has been registered.
The alleged rapists have since been apprehended by the police, the human rights group said, but because they come from wealthy and influential families, the Pakistani Army has so far refused to offer assistance to Khan as he pursues justice for his wife.
“Another woman finds herself a target of the whims of brutal Muslim rapists in Pakistan, in a society that targets its most vulnerable community: Christians. Furthermore, this time a soldier, whose only desire was to serve and protect his country, has found that the majority of his country do not feel the same way about him,” said Wilson Chowdhry, chairman of the BPCA.
“Moreover, the army he serves has offered little or no protection despite threats being made against him and his family. It pains me to say this but the complex acts of betrayal leave me feeling that Christians have no place in Pakistan’s theocratic society,” Chowdhry added.
Christian girls and women have been subjected to increasingly violent attacks this past year at the hands of Muslim attackers. Sardar Mushtaq Gill, a lawyer with Legal Evangelical Association Development in Pakistan, said earlier this week that at least five Christian girls have been been kidnapped, married off and forced to convert to Islam in April alone.
“In April in the area of Kasur alone, five Christian girls were kidnapped and converted to Islam and forced to marry their captors. These girls are denied the legal protection of individual rights,” Gill told Fides News Agency.
On many occasions Pakistan’s local police has failed to register a First Information Report of the crimes, reflecting the persecution that Christians in the country face.
Gill argued that the ‘phenomenon continues to have unacceptable proportions,’ with a number of cases each year of Christian girls being forced into Muslim marriage going unreported.
by Dr. D ~ April 19th, 2016. Answers For the Faith
Pakistan is consistently ranked among the worst countries in the world for Christian persecution. Yet the US State Department seems to continue to ignore that fact when they list the nations that they are particularly concerned about when it comes to religious freedom abuses. Here’s the story from CNS News:
For a record 14th year in a row, the State Department has overruled the advice of an independent statutory watchdog and decided not to blacklist Pakistan for religious freedom abuses.
LINK to Answers For the Faith website story:
2016 Human Rights Watch Report on PAKISTAN Comprehensive & Valuable Info.
Christian girl kidnapped, raped and forced into Muslim marriage, father murdered
by Ruth Gledhill, Christian Today Contributing Editor 19 July 2016
A girl aged 14 has been abducted, raped and forced into an Islamic marriage in Pakistan. Her father was shot dead when he sold his house in an attempt to buy her freedom.
Mehwish Masih, who left school early because her family could no longer afford the fees, was hired as a part-time cleaner at a house in Faisalabad, according to the British Pakistani Christian Association (BPCA).
She was asked to stay late to help at a party in March, and did not return the next day. Her parents soon afterwards received a copy of her Islamic marriage certificate in the post.
Her father Tanveer Masih, a rickshaw driver, sold his home in the Faisalabad slum of Khalid Colony to pay for a lawyer who managed to get the abduction registered as a crime. He was asked by relatives of his daughter’s new husband to drop the case and when he attended a rendezvous he was murdered by two unknown gunmen.
Mehwish’s mother Najma Bibi said: “The police have not done anything substantial to help my daughter, we now have no money to defend our rights and without my husband we have no voice. We live in a hopeless situation, we need help. I pray that my daughter will continue to place her hope in Jesus Christ.”
Christians flee growing persecution in Africa and Middle East (news article).
Posts & Links below to history and information on Islam:
Islam oppresses other religions, women, & attacks free societies. (Photos & brief descriptions from many different countries).
Website: “Religion of Peace” with accurate history of Muhammad, Islam, updated News on Islamic terror and actions world-wide. Statistics on number of attacks & casualties. Invaluable site to keep informed on Islam in the world.
Detailed & accurate life of Muhammad on “Religion of Peace” Website. This is necessary to understand why hundreds of millions of Muslims support violent jihad, following the example of Muhammad.
Erdogan is a Big Baby: photo humor.
Islam and the Christian Genocides in Turkey. Valuable, brief & readable history of Armenian Genocide on ‘Gates of Vienna’ Website.
Other World Crisis News:
Posts on the Word, God, and Jesus:
Credit: Carto Mission and Open Doors.
by Stephen E. Schlarb
“And a great and strong wind was rending the mountains and breaking in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the LORD was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of a gentle blowing.”
Was Jesus a Yahad or Essene?
by Stephen E. Schlarb
There is a difference of opinion on the Qumran community being Essene or Yahad. Either way, this article makes the argument that Jesus had specialized training at Qumran, before entering into his public ministry.
In Matthew 13:54-56
He came to His hometown and began teaching them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished, and said, “Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers? Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary, and His brothers, James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? And His sisters, are they not all with us? Where then did this man get all these things?”
“It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick; I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Mk. 2:17.
3 Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
5 Blessed are the gentle (or humble), for they shall inherit the earth.
In the Qumran Scrolls (part of the Dead Sea Scrolls), there is Thanksgiving Hymn 33 which contains the following:
The Qumran scrolls are dated from approximately 250 B.C. to about 65 A.D. They are in Hebrew and Aramaic, and were solely in the possession of Jews. The references to “poor in spirit” were phrases already known to Jews who had access to this teaching.