Violence against Christians in India reached new heights during 2021, according to a new report.
The United Christian Forum (UCF) recorded 486 incidents of violence against Christians last year, up from 328 in 2019.
UCF said 2021 was the “most violent year” for India’s Christians and that they are being attacked and harassed with “impunity”.
Mobs are reported to have threatened and physically assaulted Christians during prayer meetings, and handed them over to the police with accusations that they are complicit in forced conversions – a practice outlawed in 10 states across India.
Christians account for only 2.3% of the population in India. The vast majority is Hindu, with Christians reporting a rise in radical Hindu nationalism since Narendra Modi came to power in 2014.
According to UCF, most of the incidents of violence against Christians last year occurred in Uttar Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
“In almost all incidents reported across India, vigilante mobs composed of religious extremists have been seen to either barge into a prayer gathering or round up individuals that they believe are involved in forcible religious conversions,” the report said.