The Christian community in the country continues to be persecuted, according to a recent report that documented 131 instances of violence against the community last year.
The 2012 Christian Persecution Report by the Evangelical Fellowship of India (EFI), a national network of churches, was released in the city on Monday, revealing that the maximum number of cases were in Karnataka at 37, with five recorded in Maharashtra.
The number of instances, which included cases of harassment, intimidation, false accusations, arrests, and physical attacks, has, however, marginally decreased from 140 in the 2011 report. "The cases mentioned are the ones where Christian groups have been attacked because of their religion, with the primary motivation of disrupting prayer meetings and conversions," said Tehmina Arora, advocate, EFI. The Delhi-based organisation, that has been compiling such reports since 2005, had released the 2012 report in the capital last week. The organisation compiled the cases over one year through police information as well as direct complaints. "Though the cases have marginally decreased from 2011, it is mainly because many such instances continue to go undocumented. In many cases, the police refuse to file first information reports and people are also often hesitant to approach the police," said Arora.
Abraham Mathai, president of Indian Christian Voice, said, "Most of these attacks are targeted at the tribal population, mainly because there is less police supervision in these areas. In Palghar, the tribal Christians have been living in constant fear after their prayer meetings were disrupted by the locals."