The Theresa May government on Tuesday said it would take up with Indian authorities cases of alleged persecution of Christians in India, days after a review commissioned by the Foreign Office highlighted several such cases in India.
The issue of alleged persecution was raised during Foreign Office questions in the House of Commons by David Linden (Scottish National Party), who claimed the cases against Christians were ‘escalating’ in India.
Foreign Office minister Mark Field responded: “India of course has been one of many countries where there has been an increase, worsening of cases. We will obviously take up at the consular level all the cases that the member refers to”.
The exchange followed the submission of an interim report by the bishop of Truro on the Foreign Office’s support to deal with persecution of Christians across the world to foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt.
The report alleges that mob violence has become a ‘regular occurrence’ in Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, and Telangana. This, it further alleges, leads to beatings, forced conversion from Christianity to Hinduism, sexual violence against women and murder.
Hunt said: “I asked the Bishop of Truro to deliver an independent, honest, unflinching and hard-hitting report. What he has delivered…makes for a truly sobering read”
“There is nothing more medieval than to hate someone on the basis of their faith. That it is on the rise should shock us all”.
At a launch event of campaign group Open Doors’ global watch-list of 50 countries where Christians face the most persecution, Hunt said London should draw attention to such cases in India.
The group for the first time included India in the top ten countries where Christians face the most persecution.