(ENInews) The National Council of Churches in India (NCCI) has expressed “deep concern” about increasing incidents of attacks on Christian churches and property across the country by anti-Christian groups.
“Worship places are being vandalized, pastors and evangelists attacked, false allegations of forceful conversion are leveled against them, Christian believers are threatened, authorities of Christian service institutions are forced to follow dictates, burial right is denied,” noted an NCCI press statement issued on July 18.
“Such incidents are reported in different parts of India especially in the states of Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Orissa and Assam,” according to the NCCI, which includes 30 Orthodox and Protestant churches, 17 regional Christian councils, and over two dozen national organizations.
“The attacks are increasing and it is becoming a major concern for us,” Rev. Roger Gaikwad, NCCI general secretary, told ENInews.
Gaikwad said the NCCI forwarded the statement to the federal home (interior) minister and has urged the government “not to allow fascist and fundamentalist forces.”
While reiterating the NCCI is “opposed to forced conversions,” the statement blamed “the nexus of economic, social, and political forces (Hindu nationalists) for the attacks on Christians,” saying such acts had increased its members’ commitment to social justice and equality.
“The principles of freedom, justice, equality, peace, and love are being eroded in our society. We therefore call upon mature citizens of the country to stand firm against forces which politicize religion and criminalize politics,” said the statement.