To malign the image of India and its long-cherished syncretic culture in the International arena, some Christian outfits like Evangelical Fellowship of India- Religious Liberty Commission (EFI-RLC), United Christian Forum (UFC), Persecution Relief, Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), International Christian Concern (ICC, US-based Christian Human Rights Organisation) and Federation of Indian American Christian Organisation of North America (FIACONA, a US-based organisation of Indian American Christians) have been disseminating unverified inputs of alleged atrocities on Christians in India by tweaking some minor incidents and even accidents as incidents of violence against Christians in India.
The growing stature of India on the international platform has, of late, become an eyesore for these Christian agencies that run anti-Indian propaganda. FIACONA recently released its annual report 2022 on April 06, 2022, highlighting alleged atrocities on Christians in India, based on reports of UCF, EFI-RLC, etc. It claimed that Indian intelligence agencies arrested Fr. Stan Swamy on a fabricated charge. However, in reality, he was arrested by NIA on charges of links with 2018 Bhima Koregaon violence and Maoists, and therefore, UAPA was invoked against him. The Roman Catholic priest was arrested in June 2018 in Ranchi on similar accusations.
Similarly, in its March 2022 edition of the magazine ‘Persecution’, ICC alleged the BJP regime of the sudden rise in persecution of Christians in India since 2014 and sidestepping issues of targeted violence by Hindu radicals against minorities. The report underlined abuse of anti-conversion acts as a tool to further Hindu radical violence against minorities, blocking foreign contributions to numerous Christian charities, etc. But, the report seems to have relied on the uncorroborated inputs and is baseless as it has provided no evidence of the incidents. A significant decrease has been noticed in communal incidence between Hindus and Christians during the period (2014-2021) compared to the period (2006-2013). The incidents of communal clashes have reduced by 43%, while the number of deaths has also decreased by 87%.
On the allegation of the spike in attacks on Christian and prayer meetings in the wake of anti-conversion laws, it is to be noted that such laws were enacted in Arunachal Pradesh (not implemented), Himachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand to deal with conversion through force, allurement and fraudulent means. None of these laws prevents conversion by choice, and no instance of violence against minorities was noticed while implementing such laws.
Further, based on the inputs of UCF, Persecution Relief and ADF, EFI-RLC has released its annual report (February 15, 2022) alleging persecution of Christians in India and police hesitancy to record the crimes/purported attacks. But, it has been found that the report seems to be published with no evidence. The fact is that police have been following due procedure and registering cases against culprits irrespective of caste/creed/religion.
In another example of fake propaganda churned out by Christian missionaries, EFI-RLC has reported an incident involving an attack on a Christian couple, Masa Kunjami and Mrs Sunny Kunjami, by Sodi Joga, Sodia Deva and Sodi Ganga at Kora village, Sukma district, Chhattisgarh (January 07, 2021) due to their Christian belief. After the fact check, it was revealed to be a land dispute, and on the complaint of the Christian couple, police registered a case and arrested all three accused after investigation.
Another false incident was mentioned by EFI-RLC and FIACONA, which claimed that on November 07, 2021, in Shapur village, Saharsa, Bihar, a mob led by religious extremists-some of them carrying guns, burgled into a home church, disrupted prayers, snatched Pastor Krishnananda Yadav’s phone and threatened the gathering. However, no report/ case was lodged in the police station (Saharasa Sadar, Nauhatta and Sonbarsa) regarding the said incident. Similarly, Pastor Ankush Banayar (Secretary of Chhattisgarh Christian Forum) was summoned to the police station for alleged indulgence in conversion activities, but Christian organisations’ narrations were just the opposite of the real incident.
The allegation that FCRA (Foreign Contribution Regulation Act) was used to force Compassion International (CI, American NGO based in Colorado) to stop its operations in India is baseless. CI had violated FCRA rules and was noticed for its involvement in forcing religious conversions. Central Bureau of Investigation booked Caruna Bal Vikas for receiving money from Compassion International, which was allegedly used in ‘converting poor children into fulfilled Christian adults’.
The reports of such organisations seem to be unfounded and smack of propaganda by various organised anti-national Christian agencies remotely operating from foreign shores. The fake propaganda is aimed at misleading the mass, evoking anti-establishment sentiments and defaming India. Instead of oozing poison, Christians should have faith in the Indian Constitution and its judiciary and feel proud of the secular and syncretic culture of India.