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Indian Christian leaders fear more violencecomment (0)

NEW DELHI, India — Christian leaders in India fear more violence in the wake of increased anti-Christian rhetoric leading up to elections.

Metropolitan Geevarghese mar Coorilos, president of the National Council of Churches in India (NCCI), warned Feb. 11 of an increase in anti-Christian violence. He said India’s federal government is aiding the agenda of Hindu fundamentalists.

“India witnessed a drastic change in the political scene in five years since the current government led by the Bharatiya Janata Party came to power,” the NCCI president told the council’s general assembly in Tirunelveli, southern India.

“Attacks on Christians and other minorities have become part of the agenda of the Hindu nationalist forces,” he said. “The BJP government has in some ways ensured propagation of this fundamentalist agenda.”

Some 500 delegates from the council’s 29 Protestant and Orthodox churches attended the meeting.

The present concern is prompted by growing reports of violence toward Christians across the country. As India is scheduled to go to the polls in April to elect a new Parliament, hard-line Hindu groups like Bajrang Dal, Vishwa Hindu Parishad and BJP are holding rallies in villages and towns whipping up anti-minority emotions.

India’s 1.1 billion people are about 81 percent Hindu, 12 percent Muslim, 2.6 percent Christian and 2 percent Sikh, according to the CIA World Factbook.

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