The increasing attacks on Christians in Karnataka, has led to Christians being guarded with their actions.
Bengaluru, March 3, 2022
Karnataka has recorded 39 incidents of hate crimes from January to November 2021, suggest a report. Due to this, Christians are growing to be apprehensive about the attacks, and term these attacks to be baseless.
Ciya Abraham, a Christian living in Bengaluru said that Forceful conversions go against the basic principle of Christianity all together. “We don’t believe in aggressive behaviour. Anyone who wants to be a Christian has to truly believe in it. The attacks on the community are quite baseless,” she added.
Increasing attacks on Christians force them to stay a little alert and guarded about what they do, said Ciya. “The attacks are a trigger. When you go home you think about it, it is bound to make you fear. Christians are not known to be aggressive about their religion. But if this continues happening they will definitely be much more guarded in the sense of what they do. One thing which is quite new in our community is that people are increasingly talking about it,” she further added.
Karnataka scores third in the hate crimes against Christians as per a report.
Shujayuthullah E., People’s Union For Civil Liberties (PUCL) president said there has been an increase in attacks after September 2021 in both rural and urban areas. “They’re saying there are a lot of conversions. But there are no on-ground reports to prove that. There is fear in the community, especially in rural areas, where pastors are threatened.”
The 2011 census report a decrease in the percentage of Christians in Karnataka in 30 years from 2.33 per cent to 1.87 per cent. The main perpetrators behind these attacks are Hindu groups including Bajrang Dal, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Hindu Jagrana Nedike, and others. These groups believe that Christians are forcefully converting Hindus to their religion.
Bhupendra Yadav, a member of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) said, “The issue of conversions has now become very deep. Since the focus is now on Hindu-Muslims, Christians are taking advantage of it.” He said that especially during Covid, when people wanted food and everything, missionaries took benefit of it and made it a mode of converting people. “They tried to bribe people and converted most of the Hindus.”
“The Christians try to hide these conversions because they know they are doing wrong. They target poor Hindus and give them bribes of money, food, fridge, etc. to get them to convert to Christianity,” he added further.
Christians on the other hand believe that forceful conversions are against the core principles of Christianity and every conversion that happens is a personal choice. However, the action is not being taken properly against the perpetrators.
PUCL President Shujayuthullah E. also said, “The constitution does not have any space for these vigilante groups. The police have clear procedure and they aren’t following that. Tehseen Poonewala judgment clearly says a nodal officer should be appointed in every district. And they must gather information on these types of attacks. But I don’t think they are following that.”
Experts say that the state should hold the final accountability on these attacks and be more efficient in the way arrests have been made.