Indian Christian community grapples with unrelenting attacks in the initial days of 2024 Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh; Hindutva groups allege forced conversions, resulting in arrests and rising tensions

11, Jan 2024 | CJP Team

Attacks against Christians, especially those who belong to vulnerable castes and tribes within Christians, have been taking place persistently, and it seems, have carried in to the new year. According to Delhi-based groups, the United Christian Forum had at the end of 2023 stated on average, two Christians face attacks daily in India.

This report was released on December 14, revealing a staggering total of 687 reported incidents of violence against Christians within the span of 334 days in 2023.

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Betul, Madhya Pradesh

On the January 7, a Christian missionary school located in Betul district reportedly became the target of an assault. According to The Observer Post,, two people reportedly affiliated with the Bajrang Dal, including a woman, forcefully entered the premises in the midst of a prayer session, and obstructed the proceedings. They claimed that they were there on allegations that the Christian community was engaging in “forced religious conversions”, and stated that the  local residents were compelled to participate in prayer activities within the empty school on Sunday.  News reports have stated that there were a lot of arguments, and two people have been arrested including one woman. Bajrang Dal has reportedly stated to the media saying that people are constantly being forcibly converted here and the police is not taking any action.

Khargone, Madhya Pradesh

On January 3, 2024, two people named, were arrested on charges of allegedly attempting forced religious conversions at an event held in Khargone district, Madhya Pradesh, according to a report by Scroll. There was news among the local population of a “large” gathering in a house. Reports allege that this was reported to Hindutva organisation, Sakal Hindu Samaj. Upon learning of the event, the members of the Sakal Hindu Samaj staged a protest, as confirmed by the police to Scroll.

The event was reportedly organised  by a man named Malloi and Nagar and police allege that the aim of the gathering was to convert attendees to Christianity, according  to Scroll. The two accused now face legal action under the Madhya Pradesh Freedom of Religion Act, 2021, according to the same official.

According to Scroll, the police official has stated that, “Mehram Malloi, an Adivasi who had converted to Christianity 15 years ago, had organised an event for religious conversion. Three to four men objected that they would not convert.”

A news clip which depicted people disrupting the prayer meet has surfaced on the internet,

Bastar, Chattisgarh

According to Madhya Pradesh based news channel, IBC 4, the village of Jagdalpur, situated in the Bastar region of Chattisgarh, witnessed  Hindutva groups reportedly mobilising the local residents to rally in opposition to a government-designated burial ground allocated for the Christian community. Christians form a small minority in Chhattisgarh and have a 2 percent share in the total population of the state, and a large number of Christians live in Bastar. The region has faced constant tensions with regards to burying of people from the Christian faith. In January, 2023, about 1000 Christians were reportedly displaced from their homes in Bastar after facing religious persecution in the region.

Morena, Madhya Pradesh

A similar such incident occurred in Morena, in the state. A Christian prayer gathering was reportedly disrupted by members of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad. The disruption was fueled after some people alleged that religious conversions were taking place during the prayer meet. However the police have completely denied the issue of religious conversion.

Alirajpur, Madhya Pradesh

In the town of Jobat, situated in Alirajpur, Madhya Pradesh, a Christian prayer assembly was  reportedly brought to a halt after concerns were raised about alleged religious conversions. Following this incident the report alleges that the police have apprehended a member of the Christian community while another individual is still at large.

The sarpanch, Vijay Kachuwa, has stated to the media that this gathering was held for people to adopt the Christian faith. “I had tried to explain to them to stop but when they didnt after repeated attempts to convince them, I complained to the police.” He further talks about how the gathering had mutton and rice cooked at it, and stated that it was a religious conversion ceremony and sought to incentivise the local population to convert.

Recently, over 3,000 Christians from various parts of India, were signatories of a statement which expressed their disassociation from Christian leaders who participated in a Christmas lunch hosted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 25, 2023. The signatories believe that Christians have been under constant attack in the past 10 years of BJP rule.


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