Joint Churches Fellowship draws attention towards Christians’ harassment in IIOJK  

Jammu, Jan 21 (KMS): The Joint Churches Fellowship in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), has demanded of the Indian government to take serious cognizance of incidents of harassment of Christian community in occupied territory.

Addressing a press conference along with the executive committee and members of the Fellowship, Pr Shoukat Peter invited attention towards the incidents of harassment of Christian community at Ramnagar, Basohli, Nagri, Kathua etc and sought necessary action to stop such occurrences.

He said that since last few years, some organizations were continuously attacking the Churches, Church priests, Christian institutions, disturbing the prayers and worship which is totally against the rights of worship provided in the Constitution of India.

Political analysts believe that anti-Christian violence in India is religiously-motivated violence against Christians in India.  Violence against Christians has been seen by Human Rights Watch as a tactic used by the right-wing Sangh Parivar organizations to encourage and exploit communal violence to meet their political ends. “The acts of violence include arson of churches, conversion of Christians by force, physical violence, sexual assaults, murders, rapes, and destruction of Christian schools, colleges, and cemeteries,” they said adding anti-Christian violence increased dramatically since the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) started its rule at the center in March 1998. The Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP), Bajrang Dal, and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) are the most accused organizations for the violence.

Hundreds of incidents of violence against Christians are reported by various organizations every year. The Narendra Modi government in India continues to indiscriminately target the minorities with over 300 attacks in 2021 against Christians, making the country one of the worst for the community to live. As of 2020, USCIRF placed India as Tier-1 in minority persecution.

The Joint Churches Fellowship also threatened that if no action is taken by the authorities, the community will approach the National Human Rights Commission and national Minority Commission.

“We know that common Indian citizens love Christians and appreciate services of the community. We will continue to serve the nation in the best way in future also, whatever these people do. But we wish to appeal to the Government again to take necessary steps so that these things do not change into communal unrest, ” he said.

Stating that Christian community has always been a peace loving and serving the nation in the field of education, health services through hospitals, helping the helpless and mentally retarded people, Pr Shoukat Peter said that since last few years, some organizations were continuously attacking the Churches, Church priests, Christian institutions, disturbing the prayers and worship which is totally against the rights of worship provided in the Constitution of India.

“These organizations have never been heard standing against corruptions, rapes, inflation, people dying of drunkenness, poor people dying without treatments because their sole objective is communal disturbance,” he said and appealed Lt Governor Manoj Sinha to order necessary action for protection of the Christian community in IIOJK.