4000 Protest Against Christian Persecution in India

More than 4,000 protesters took part in a rally in New Delhi, India, on Tuesday to demand that the Indian Government acts to quell the recent increase in violence against Christians, which includes two attacks broadcast on national television.

The rally started at 10am local time and at 1pm the protesters marched toward the Indian Parliament. Organisers also released an open letter to the Government outlining their demands.

The rally was called in response to two attacks against Christians which were televised on several news channels. Christian leaders are concerned that copycat attacks could take place in the future unless the Government vocalises opposition to these and other similar attacks, many of which are committed with impunity, Christian Solidarity Worldwide has said.

The protest was organised by the All India Christian Council, the All India Catholic Union, Truth-Seekers International, the Christian Lawyers Association and the All India Confederation of Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes Organisations. Muslim, Buddhists and Hindu representatives, women's groups and students joined the thousands of Christians from all denominations who took part in the rally.

Dr Joseph D'souza, President of the All India Christian Council, said, "The diversity of protestors, from several religious communities, different Christian denominations, and even civil society groups, show that India's citizens want a truly secular India.

"People should be able to practice their faith without violent attacks. The Government's silence in the face of recent anti-Christian incidents is not only an injustice, it is dangerous."

Stuart Windsor, National Director of Christian Solidarity Worldwide, added: "This protest illustrates the strength of feeling within India that violent attacks against religious minorities must not go on. We urge the international community to now re-enforce the message to the Indian Government that they have a duty to protect their citizens from such attacks regardless of their religious background."