Media: Number of Christians in India increases annually

November 15, 2016 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

New Delhi, November 12, 2016: Christian churches in India are experiencing an unprecedented influx of parishioners, reports Christian Today. This phenomenon is all the more surprising as it is taking place against the background of the rising persecution of Christians in the country.

For example, this phenomenon can be seen in a farming community in Rajasthan, the largest Indian state, where a substantial growth in Christianity has been observed. One of the local churches has a community of some 2,000 parishioners who attend Sunday services. People flock to the church: in many cases family members have to take turns attending church services at different times of the day so that someone could be left at home to take care of the livestock and poultry. In general, church-goers in India come from all social strata. According to recent studies, there are currently twenty-five to sixty million Christians in India, most of them belonging to Catholic Churches, while around one billion Indian residents are Hindus.

The number of Christian converts in this country keeps growing rapidly despite the intensification of persecution against them. For instance, according to a report released in August this year, there were 134 cases of violence committed against followers of Christ in India within the first six months of 2016. If you compare the half-year figure with the annual numbers for 2014 (147 cases) and 2015 (177 cases), it is obvious that attacks on Christians have nearly doubled. The report’s authors consider that the surge in violence against Christians has been caused by “the ominous atmosphere of utter impunity,” which has become possible with the connivance and maybe approval of the local authorities under the present Government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. At present, India ranks seventeenth in the list by Open Doors (a non-denominational international organization supporting persecuted Christians worldwide) of countries where Christians are being most persecuted.

Open Doors characterizes the level of persecution in India as “serious” and notes the growing scale of impunity of extremists in the country.

– pravoslavie

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