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Home  >  News  >  India Persecution Worries


India Persecution Worries

Wednesday January 11 2017

Persecution of Christians worsened dramatically across Asia and the Indian subcontinent last year, according to the latest World Watch List.

India, along with nearly every neighbouring country, has climbed in the annual ranking of the countries where Christians face the most extreme persecution.

Open Doors International, the charity which compiles the list, recorded over 15 violent attacks on Christians every week in India last year, and says there will be many more as victims are too scared to report attacks.

Lisa Pearce, CEO of Open Doors UK & Ireland, said: "Persecution levels have been rising rapidly across Asia and the Indian subcontinent, driven by extreme religious nationalism which is often tacitly condoned, and sometimes actively encouraged, by local and national governments.

“This year there is a clear pattern of rising religious intolerance across the Indian sub-continent which affects many millions of Christians. Religious nationalists attempt to forcibly convert people to the dominant faith of their nation, often turning to violence when community discrimination and non-violent oppression do not succeed in imposing their religious beliefs on minority Christians.

“These Christians are often from the lower castes, such as the Dalits in India who face huge socio-economic problems - they are an easy target for extreme nationalists."

India itself rose two places to 15th in the list, while Afghanistan rose one place to 3rd, Pakistan two places to 4th, Bangladesh nine places to 26th, Bhutan eight places to 30th, and Sri Lanka, which wasn’t on the 2016 list, is in 45th.

Nepal narrowly missed being in the top 50, although Open Doors warned that the situation there is also worse for Christians. China fell down the list from 33rd to 39th, although some areas of the country have seen crackdowns such as the demolition of crosses on top of churches.

North Korea remains at the top of the list, with Somalia climbing to second and countries in conflict zones including Syria, Iraq and Yemen also in the top 10.

View the full list on the Open Doors website.

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