Alliance Defending Freedom: It’s days away: The Supreme Court’s marriage decision is expected to come down on June 29.
The Citizen: The Evangelical Fellowship of India and Alliance Defending Freedom recorded 44 separate cases of hate speech by prominent politicians which merit criminal charges against them.
Mainstream Weekly: The hate campaign is well documented. The Evangelical Fellowship of India and Alliance Defending Freedom recorded 44 separate cases of hate speech by prominent politicians which merit criminal charges against them.
Breitbart: In the space of just five days, from May 10 to 15, 2015, Hindu Fundamentalist groups have carried out five separate attacks against Christians in their places of worship in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, which is under the authority of the ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Aleteia: In the Indian magazine Outlook, Tony Joseph recently sought to find Why Christianity Failed In India. That is a deeply troubling question for Christians anywhere, and all the more so given India’s vast importance in the world.
Christian Today: India’s Hindu nationalist government has denied that “communal” politics were behind a series of attacks on churches and the rape of a nun in recent months, as it seeks to quell rising concerns among religious minorities.
Reuters: Christians in India said on Monday that the Hindu nationalist government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi had not done enough to protect their religion, after a spate of attacks including the rape of a 75-year-old nun at the weekend.
New Indian Express: The Shiv Sena on Monday advised the courts to refrain from meddling in matters of faith and religion in the larger public interest.
Law and Religion UK: The ever-helpful Religion Clause blog reports a recent decision of the High Court of Madras that the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act 2006 takes precedence over the Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act 1937.
WorldWatch Monitor: Twenty Christian men on an evangelical mission in north-western India last week were illegally detained and tortured by police, according to a human rights group which intervened to force their release.
World Evangelical Alliance: The Christian community in India is concerned at the intensity of the targeted and communal violence directed against it almost on a pan India basis. Violence against Christians picked up in independent India in the early 1990s reaching its peak in 2008 – 2009 with more than 1000 incidents of violence and hate crimes reported against the Christian community. This continues today as vicious hate campaign, physical violence, police complicity, and State impunity contribute to the persecution of the Christian community in many states of India.
Ecumenical News: Christian leaders recorded at least three incidents of violence against their community a week after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke out against religious intolerance in the country and pledged to act on the issue.
The Times of India: India has secured the release of Jesuit priest Father Alexis Prem Kumar who had been in Taliban captivity in Afghanistan since June last year.
Ecumenical News: Leaders of India’s minority faiths have seized the momentum to push the issue of religious tolerance after U.S. President Barack Obama spoke out on the growing number of violent incidents targeting Muslims and Christians, among others.
The Economic Times: A government employee cannot take refuge under Article 25 of the Constitution dealing with right to profess religion, to challenge rule barring polygamy, the Supreme Court held today.
The Siasat Daily: Besides the President’s statements, the US Commission for International Religious Freedom has highlighted the rapidly constricted landscape for religious freedom in India in a press release earlier this week.
National Right to Life: Last week NRL News Todayreported that the Indian Supreme Court had directed major search engines such as Yahoo, Google, and Bing to no longer carry ads for pre-natal sex selection services. The justices’ lamented selective abortion.
The Christian Post: Hundreds of Christians have reportedly been arrested in New Delhi, India, for protesting against a series of vandalism attacks against churches.
Ecumenical News: Despite rising incidences involving religious minorities in India, an official of the Catholic Bishops Conference of India has underpinned the need for the church’s deeper involvement in advocating for tolerance.
The New York Times: A series of episodes at churches over the last two months has prompted Roman Catholics here to worry about a deliberate campaign of violence, and to call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi to speak out against religious intimidation.
Asia News: For many years, not one girl was born in 70 Indian villages. Every day, 2,000 girls are killed across the country. On average, the ratio of males to females at birth is 1,000 to 914. These figures are the practical consequence of selective female abortions, a discriminatory practice that is widespread across the country.
The Guardian: Reports of a new mass conversion of Christians in India have raised concerns over freedom of worship, days after Barack Obama challenged the country’s record on religious tolerance.
Christian Today: The response had been positive so far. Lawyer Tehmina Arora, who works with the Alliance for Defending Freedom in India, said they had received 4,000 calls. While a large part of these calls were coming from Christians who wanted to verify the new number, she also said that they had received three reports of persecution towards Christians.
Religion News Service: U.S. President Barack Obama weighed in on one of India’s most sensitive topics as he wound up a visit on Tuesday (Jan 27), making a plea for freedom of religion to be upheld in a country with a history of strife between Hindus and minorities.
Charisma News: “We have had more than 4,000 calls already. Most of them are out of eagerness to verify if it is working and also to express solidarity,” said Tehmina Arora, a lawyer with the Alliance for Defending Freedom India.
Christian News Network: Arvind D’Souza was stopped by the police “for reasons of public order,” even though he had committed no crime. The incident occurred on Jan. 2 in the district of Amethi in Uttar Pradesh.
Cross Map (Morning Star News): Police on Wednesday (Dec. 17) arrested 16 Christians, including four women, as they celebrated Christmas in Navipur, Pipraich, Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh, Liris Thomas of Alliance Defending Freedom-India (ADF-India) told Morning Star News.
Human Life International: The facility in which these surgeries took place was far from sterile. It was an abandoned hospital in rural India with broken windows and animal feces on the floor. The doctor and staff assisting in the operations did not change gloves or sterilize medical equipment between patients.
One News Now: Just this month, Hindu radicals intensified a so-called “purification campaign” to make remote areas of Uttar Pradesh a Christian-free zone.
The Daily Signal: The 2014 Global Slavery Index (GSI) found that there are nearly 36 million victims of human trafficking worldwide. Of that, 36 million, nearly two-thirds, are from Asia. Without serious attention from the U.S. and Asian governments, millions of adults and children will continue to be forced into bonded labor, sex trafficking, slave-like conditions, and child soldiering in Asia.
Christian Today: A church service was targeted on October 19 in Madota. About 30 people interrupted the service by chanting, and a handful of extremists entered the church and began beating people. Religious freedom advocacy group Alliance Defending Freedom-India reported that women and children were among those attacked.
Morning Star News: The previous Sunday (Oct. 19), Hindu extremists attacked a worship meeting in Madota. A mob of about 30 people shouted chants for Christians to stop a worship service, according to religious freedom advocacy group Alliance Defending Freedom-India (ADF-India). Five Hindu extremists then entered the church building and began beating the Christians, including women and children.
One News Now: Concerns continue for Christians in India, and a human rights organization for religious freedom says the greatest issue as of late is the “absolute skyrocketing of attacks that have been taking place on Christians and other religious minorities” in that country.
The Gospel Herald (Morning Star News): When attorney Loreing Ovung of religious rights group Alliance Defending Freedom-India called Hussain, however, the officer said a bail bond of 20,000 rupees (US$330) had been imposed on the alleged assailants, and that he had advised the Christians to submit a written complaint about the latest assault.
Aleteia: Abortion-rights activists, who like to argue that abortion has no lasting health risks, will find it very, very difficult to explain away such numbers. It’s not surprising that in recent years, when the topic of the ABC link comes up, many offer perfunctory denials and then quickly change the subject.
Religious Freedom Coalition: A local official also reported to the authorities that he had seen the women distributing Christian leaflets in an attempt to convert people. After they were taken into custody on 12 August, the women were questioned for two hours before being released.
Reuters: Fired up and full of vitriol, Hindu activist Rajeshwar Singh is on a mission to end centuries of religious diversity in India, one conversion at a time. “We will cleanse our Hindu society. We will not let the conspiracy of church or mosque succeed in Bharat (India),” he said, standing in the family’s front yard by a ritual fire lit to purify the poor, lower-caste converts.
Hindu nationalist group seeking to cleanse Christian presence from India is not unlike ISIS, watchdog group warns
The Christian Post: International Christian Concern has warned that Sangh Parivar, an umbrella Hindu nationalist group, is inflicting suffering and looking to cleanse the minority Christian population in India, much like terror group ISIS is doing in Iraq and Syria.
Rhode Island Catholic: In India, a wave of Hindu religious fundamentalism is taking hold in some sectors of the country. Christians are being persecuted, sexually assaulted, and attacked by mobs, and the crimes are going unpunished, according to testimony given to the U.S. Congress by the Alliance Defending Freedom.
Townhall (Baptist Press): Akhilesh Edgar, a community relations manager for Alliance Defending Freedom India, also condemned the actions. “These resolutions must be immediately withdrawn, and the state should take strict measures so that non-state actors are prevented from inciting violence,” he told Morning Star.
Worthy News: “This resolution goes against the ethos of the constitution, which guarantees to everyone the right to equality and freedom of religion,” said attorney Tehmina Arora of Alliance Defending Freedom of India, a religious rights group. “The state authorities should not discriminate against anyone because of their religious beliefs.”
Christian News Network: Church leaders in India have asked national and Chhattisgarh state officials to reverse a ban on non-Hindu religious activity that more than 50 villages have reportedly adopted.
The Christian Post: The highest court in India has ruled on Monday that Shariah law cannot be legally forced on citizens who do not wish to have the system applied to them.
Life News: Each of the volunteers visits a clinic for an ultrasound, telling the doctor that she wants to terminate the pregnancy if the baby is a girl. When the doctor or practitioner agrees, the women call in the team from the state who arrest the doctor. The women are then key witnesses in the court hearings against the abortionists.
Worldview Church: Concern for religious freedom has heightened since the Cold War, which should have secured commitment to religious liberty as a global standard. But with increasing intensity from the 1990s to the present, Christians have been confronted with three threats to religious freedom.
Zenit: On May 16, India will announce a new national government and face a number of grave issues, including the persecution of more than 200 million Dalits throughout the country.
BBC News: India’s Supreme Court has recognised transgender people as a third gender, in a landmark ruling. ‘It is the right of every human being to choose their gender,’ it said in granting rights to those who identify themselves as neither male nor female.”
Times of India: “Upset over being denied permission to hold prayer meetings in the school quadrangle for Good Friday and two more days this week, Vashi-based Sacred Heart Church is planning to move Bombay high court against the authorities.”
George J. Marlin, Chairman of Aid to the Church in Need U.S.A. (ACN), at The Catholic Thing: “As Chairman of Aid to the Church in Need U.S.A. (ACN), a Catholic charity for persecuted and other suffering Christians, plenty of data crosses my desk describing anti-Christian acts. Here’s a status report on a few of the oppressive hotspots in the world that have gotten little attention.”
The Financial Express: “The State should not be seen as propagating any religion and the word secularism should be construed in right context, the Delhi High Court today said while seeking response from the Centre and RBI on a PIL for withdrawal of coins having religious symbols embossed on them.”
Religion Clause: “In Sangathan v. Union of India, (India Sup. Ct., March 12, 2014), a 3-judge bench of the Supreme Court of India refused to issue specific orders for authorities to take action against hate speech by political and religious leaders.”
WSJ: “India’s laws restricting religious conversions–intended to protect people from being forced to change their beliefs — are an obstacle to religious freedom, a senior United Nations figure said in an interview. Heiner Bielefeldt, the UN’s special rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, spoke to The Wall Street Journal last week.”
Permissive Constitutions, Democracy, and Religious Freedom in India, Indonesia, Israel, and Turkey | World Politics
Lerner, Hanna, Permissive Constitutions, Democracy, and Religious Freedom in India, Indonesia, Israel, and Turkey (October 1, 2013). World Politics, Volume 65, Issue 4 (October 2013), pp. 609-655 . Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2404925
Zee News: “A Jammu and Kashmir Assembly panel on Wednesday failed to evolve a consensus on inclusion of all temples, including those administered by Trusts, under the ambit of Kashmiri Hindus Shrines and Religious Places Bill.”
Baptist Press: “Tehmina Arora, an attorney with Alliance Defending Freedom-India, told the subcommittee that the impunity that violent mobs enjoy is an important factor in anti-Christian persecution in India.”
Virtue Online: “The ‘most violent anti-Christian pogrom of the early 21st century,’ though, occurred in the northeastern Indian state of Orissa in 2008. Perhaps 500 Christians died in multiple riots, often hacked to death with machetes by Hindu radicals who also destroyed 5,000 homes and 350 churches and schools. Yet authorities resisted effective judicial action and even threatened false accusations against victims, lawyer Tehmina Arora from the Indian branch of Alliance Defending Freedom criticized. From 827 filed complaints, only 512 charges resulted, leading to 75 cases with 477 convictions, primarily for petty property offenses; only nine convictions involved killings.”
The Telegraph: “The Supreme Court today ruled that Muslim personal law or any other religious code could not prohibit adoption by childless couples as such a right is vested in every Indian under the Juvenile Justice (JJ) Act.”
NRB Network: “Among those testifying were Commissioner Elliott Abrams of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom and a number of other experts, including NRB member Alliance Defending Freedom’s Legal Counsel, Tehmina Arora.”
Outlook: “Testifying before the Congressional committee, Tehmina Arora from Alliance Defending Freedom-India alleged that attacks have been reported across the country over the past five years, though primarily concentrated in states where the main opposition BJP has been in power and where groups associated with it are active.”
Christian persecution, sexual assaults and mob attacks going unpunished in India, ADF testifies before House | Christian Post
Christian Post: “‘India, in spite of its long tradition for religious tolerance, finds itself in the throes of religious fundamentalism and violence against religious minorities for the past few decades. Reports by faith-based rights agencies show that Christians in India have suffered about 150 violent attacks on an average in the past few years,’ argued ADF attorney Tehmina Arora before the Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations.”
AINA: “Ms. Tehmina Arora, Attorney, Alliance Defending Freedom-India . . . ‘India, in spite of its long tradition for religious tolerance, finds itself in the throes of religious fundamentalism and violence against religious minorities for the past few decades.’”
Anti-Christian violence detailed in hearing calling for filling of religious freedom post | Morning Star News
Morning Star News: “Tehmina Arora, an attorney with Alliance Defending Freedom-India (ADF-India), told the subcommittee that the impunity that violent mobs enjoy is an important factor in anti-Christian persecution in India. ‘Police resist filing criminal complaints and have on several instances allegedly threatened to falsely incriminate victims in some cases,’ she said.”
FOX News: “Among the others who testified Tuesday were Tehmina Arora, attorney at Alliance Defending Freedom-India and Khataza Gondwe, from Christian Solidarity Worldwide.”
Washington Times: “Tehmina Arora, an attorney for the Alliance Defending Freedom, noted violence in India, where Christian pastor Orucanti Sanjeevi was beaten to death at his home by Hindu extremists last month.”
“Alliance Defending Freedom Attorney Tehmina Arora will testify Tuesday before the U.S. House Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations chaired by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ). Arora will speak about the increasing persecution of Christians in India and how crimes against them are going unpunished.”
Asia News: “The Supreme Court of India has decided to review a judgment of 1995 , which had established that seeking votes in the name of Hinduism is not a form of corruption. The highest court of the country has decided to revise the judgment – strongly criticized 18 years ago – in view of the general elections to be held next May, in light of an already hard-fought election campaign”
Times of India: “The separation period required for a Christian couple to file a petition for dissolution of marriage by mutual consent will be one year, the Karnataka high court ruled on Monday.”
Business Standard: “The Madras High Court today adjourned by two weeks a PIL seeking recalling of Executive Officers from Hindu temples and handing over of administration to hereditary trustees for better functioning.”
AFP: “Nineteen people were arrested in raids Tuesday targeting a suspected immigration scam where people are brought from India to Britain as religious ministers and then disappear.”