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Joel's Goa Pics | Flickr

Joel’s Goa Pics | Flickr

The persecution of Christians in India continues, now with a more warped twist than ever. In Agra, a city in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, seven Christians were attacked by a mob of Hindus from the group Bajrang Dal, the youth arm of the hardline group Vishva Hindu Parishad. The Christians, five men and two women, were leading a prayer meeting in a local hotel on October 30, 2018. Shortly after they finished a music program, the Hindus attacked. The seven people were severely beaten. Then, to add insult to injury, the Christians were the ones arrested. The Hindu mob claimed that the Christians were trying to forcibly convert Hindus and were using derogatory language against Hinduism. Despite being the victims, the Christians were the ones handed over to the police.

This is not the first time Hindu extremists have used false accusations of forced conversions and blasphemy to justify brutal and senseless attacks on Christians. India has developed a massive problem of Christian persecution in recent years. Christianity is seen as being an outsider’s religion and anti-nationalist. The situation has deteriorated enough that India is ranked 11th in the world for Christian persecution, ahead of Syria, China and Saudi Arabia, all of which are notorious for their persecution of those who do not follow the correct religion, or in China, the lack-there-of. In the spring of 2017 alone, there were 17 episodes of aggression against Christians in India. That pattern has held if not escalated with Christians suffering physical injuries and even being murdered for their faith. It does not help that the authorities are known to turn a blind eye to the matter, and some people have claimed that the government and police force have even been involved or encouraged the attacks. What can be done to help turn the tide in India is up for debate, but there is no doubt that something needs to be done to stop the flagrant persecution of India’s third largest religion.

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