India’s Supreme Court to hear petition
Barnabas Fund, 7 July 2022
India’s Supreme Court was to hear a petition on 11 July, seeking a direction to end “hate speech” targeted against Christians and attacks on their places of worship.
A division bench of Justice Surya Kant and Justice JB Pardiwala directed the court registry to list the plea on a priority basis the day courts reopen after the summer vacation.
The petition was filed by the Archbishop of Bangalore Dr Peter Machado together with the National Solidarity Forum and the Evangelical Fellowship of India.
Senior Advocate Colin Gonsalves, for the petitioners, said there are on average 45 to 50 violent attacks on Christian institutions and church leaders every month in India. However, 57 violent incidents took place in May.
“What you are saying is unfortunate, if it is happening,” said the bench when Gonsalves pleaded for an urgent hearing. “What we can ensure is that your matter is listed on reopening day itself.”
The plea refers to a “sinister phenomena of violence” and “targeted hate speech” against the Christian community by vigilante groups and nationalist organisations.
It alleges that central and state governments have not taken immediate and necessary action against groups involved in widespread violence.