Tirunelveli: Pentecostal Church affiliates in India protested against “steadily increasing attacks on Christians,” and asked the government to intervene and shield them from violence.
Tirunelveli District Pentecostal Churches Federation in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu said they were being attacked by Hindu fundamentalists who want them to stop preaching Christianity, even though the country mandates freedom of religion.
The Catholic Secular Forum in India released a report identifying Tamil Nadu among the top five states with the highest numbers of anti-Christian attacks, with the state of Madhya Pradesh leading the list.
A recent gathering of the members pointed out they never retaliated to maintain peace in society.
“Though we’re being targeted, we’ve never retaliated and done anything that would undermine the tranquility of society as Christianity is all about love, compassion and brotherhood,” R. Babu Paul Dinakaran, district secretary of the Federation, told The Hindu.
He also asserted that they practice their religion without breaching the limits and encroaching upon others’ religious rights. “However, heads of a few Hindutva outfits are encouraging their cadres to orchestrate attacks against us,” he added.
The federation further said that the attacks led them to question their belief that they were living in a democratic and tolerant country.
They noted that even those distributing the pamphlets and praying in the prayer halls were being attacked. The federation urged the government to take lawful action against the perpetrators, and take down boards that carry inflammatory messages that incite people against religions.