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Thousands of Christians gathered in India to peacefully protest the rising numbers of church attacks, violence, and arrests in the country.

Release International sources say Christians gathered in Delhi to draw attention to the prevailing sense of fear and insecurity in the Christian community.

According to the United Christian Forum (UCF) there were 598 attacks against Christians in 2022. That number has risen by 81 per cent since 2020.

National Herald screenshot

And by the end of January 2023, UCF had recorded 57 incidents.

Intolerance towards Christians is growing across India, and the movement to outlaw the religious conversion of Hindus is gathering momentum. An increasing number of states have passed anti-conversion laws.

According to Christianity Today, 22,000 Christians gathered in Delhi to sing, pray and sit peacefully before a black and red banner proclaiming: Stop hate and violence against Christians.

‘This coming together of all the denominations is to show our unity to strengthen the kingdom of God,’ Abraham Mathew of the National Council of Churches in India told Christianity Today.

CT screenshot

He added: ‘It is a cry of our people for their brothers and sisters who are suffering in rural areas. They have the right to believe in their God, but that is being curtailed. There is no other hope for us but only crying to God to save us – and this is a loud cry.’

‘We are here because we believe that Jesus Christ defends us,’ one speaker told the crowd.

One Christian told The Times of India that state police have been arresting believers. Said Shivpal: ‘We are not even allowed to pray in our houses. Women were arrested for offering prayers during a birthday celebration.’

Another named only as Poonam added ‘Churches are being attacked and our community members harassed in Chhattisgarh Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh – and many other states.’

Watch Christians demonstrate peacefully on YouTube:

More details:

Christianity Today:

The Times of India:

National Herald: