According to a report by the Evangelical Fellowship, 177 cases of Christian persecution have been recorded in India last year. However, it is believed that the number of actual cases may be higher since some incidents may not have been reported to authorities.
As reported by CBN News, some of these cases include about 68 incidents where victims experience physical violence. About 36 of them involved vandalism on religious buildings and refusal of services. There were also incidents of rape, including a nun who was sexually abused while inside the convent.
The report also noted that many of these cases happened in central India. These include about six states which prohibit Hindus from converting to Christianity. Those who convert will then be forcibly converted back to Hinduism. There are also cases when Hindu priests shave the heads of Christian converts and parade them around villages to humiliate them.
Christians in the country take up about 2.3 percent of India's entire population, which is about 25 million. Many of them belong to the social class known as the Untouchables or Dalits, which is the poorest group in the country, according to Premiere.
Aside from persecution, Christians in the country also experience information manipulation regarding their religion. In February, a group of Indian Christians in the state of Maharashtra carried out a protest against the right-wing nationalist party Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh or RSS.
According to Christian Today, one of the leaders of the party published a book claiming that Jesus was a Hindu. In the book, titled "Christ Priachay," it states that Jesus's real name was Keshao Krishna and he was a Brahmin. It also says that Christianity was formed as a sect of Hinduism.
Then, referring to the biblical account of the resurrection, the book also claims that after he was crucified, he was rescued from the cross by the Essenes who then cured his wounds using herbs. He then spent the remaining years of his life in the Himalayas.
Nigel Barrett of the Archdiocese of Bombay criticized the book for attempting to change the history of Christianity.
"There is an attempt to re-write history and draw us into controversy," he said according to Christian Today. "Christianity is well grounded and based on the person of Jesus who without a doubt is a real person in history."