The year 2021 ended as the most violent year for Christians in India. The country saw 486 incidents of violence against the Christian community, as opposed to 279 last year. Data by the United Christian Forum (UCF) shows that there has been an upward trend in such incidents over the last few years. The last two months witnessed over a 100 incidents.
As many as 486 incidents were recorded in 2021, while 279 incidents were witnessed in 2020 and 328 in 2019.
The UCF is an inter-denominational Christian organisation in India. They have a toll-free helpline, which was established in 2015. As per reports recorded on the UCF helpline, incidents of violence have been increasing drastically since 2014. As many as 127 incidents were recorded in 2014 and the number has been on the rise since then, with the exception of the year 2020, which the organisation said was due to the pandemic.
A statement by the organisation read, "There are nineteen (19) cases pending in various courts filed under the Freedom of Religion Act in nine states of India wherein such laws exist. Though such laws in certain states have been in force since 1967 – over 50 years now – till date, not a single Christian has been convicted of forcing anyone to convert to the religion. Moreover, census after census has shown that the Christian population has remained 2.3 percent of India's population of 136.64 crores ( 2019)."
Sadly, this violence against the Christian community is compounded by the failure of the police to investigate and prosecute mobs and perpetrators. This is despite a slew of directions to the government from the Supreme Court of India, led by then CJI Dipak Misra, to stop the horrendous acts of mobocracy.UCF in a statement
The data also shows that the maximum number of incidents this year was seen in Uttar Pradesh (102 incidents), followed by Chhattisgarh (90). The least number of such incidents was recorded in Assam and Jammu and Kashmir, which saw one incident each, followed by Rajasthan and West Bengal that saw two incidents each.
The UCF said that in almost all such incidents, vigilante mobs composed of religious extremists had disrupted prayer or rounded up individuals they believed were involved in forced conversions.