The number of violent mob attacks on churches and arrests of Christians on false charges is accelerating at a dramatic pace in Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state, according to a report by the Evangelical Fellowship of India.

The number of reported incidents in 2018 had reached 64 by 28 October, significantly higher than the previous year when there were 50 in total. Right-wing Hindu nationalist groups are responsible for the majority of the attacks and false allegations.

In late October 2018, a group of believers were enjoying fellowship at a hotel in Agra city, when without warning a mob of 40-50 Hindu extremists forced their way into the room wielding bamboo poles and hockey sticks. 

The Christians present, including many women, were savagely beaten, leaving at least seven in a serious condition. On the police’s arrival, several Christians were detained on charges of “hurting religious sentiments”. None of the attackers were arrested and local police are refusing requests from Christians to investigate the attack.

Christians make up only 0.18 per cent of the population of Uttar Pradesh, which also contains Varanasi, the constituency of Narendra Modi, India’s Hindu nationalist Prime Minister.

Date published: 01/12/2018
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