False narratives used against Indian Christians
Barnabas Fund, 26 July 2021 (excerpts)
A police directive, issued by the Superintendent of Police in the state of Chhattisgarh, India, to keep “consistent watch” on Christians demonstrates the “false narratives” used against Christians by radical Hindutva nationalist groups.
Chief among the false narratives are that Christians – and Muslims – are engaged in forced conversions of Hindus and adherents of other traditional Indian religions.
Second is the false accusation that Christians are supporters of the Communist Party of India – as Christians provide help and education to tribal communities and low-caste “untouchables”.
Thirdly, Christians are accused of undermining Indian values by promoting an undesirable Western culture.
Furthermore, Christians are accused of eating beef and therefore taking part in the slaughter of “sacred” cows.
The false narratives are given legitimacy by the governing Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which views evangelistic and missionary activity as “a security threat” with the potential to “destabilize the nation”.
An Indian legal expert has argued that “a ban on conversion motivated by any sort of gain is in effect a ban on all conversion”, and that anti-conversion laws nullify India’s constitutional commitment to freedom of religion.