By Martin Roth
A famous quote attributed to Indian peace activist Mahatma Gandhi is, “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”
Whether he actually said this is disputed. What is not disputed is that Christians in India today are sometimes victims of persecution, generally from the country’s Hindu majority.
This week Gandhi’s great-grandson, Tushar Gandhi, helped launch a report on the persecution of Christians in India during 2012.
At least 131 instances of violence against Christians were reported in 2012, claims a report released in Mumbai Monday.
Delhi-based Evangelical Fellowship of India and former chairperson of Maharashtra State Minorities Commission Abraham Mathai have compiled the report.
…”Tribals have been attacked each time they decided to accept Christianity,” Mathai told the media.
…”Conversion cannot be a reason for anyone to be attacked. Everyone can choose and practice own religion,” he said. Tribal areas in Thane district have seen several attacks in the past few years after locals opted for Christianity.
“The tribal belt that borders Gujarat has several Hindu organisations working closely with the tribal community. Most of the accused who have attacked the tribals and torched several churches are from these organisations. However, police have failed to make any arrest,” Mathai claimed.
Last month, Tamsai village in Palghar witnessed attacks on tribals who organised prayer meetings in the village. Similar cases were reported in Mokhada taluka of Thane district.