Fifteen Christians were arrested during New Year’s prayers at a church in the Indian state of Karnataka.
According to The Christian Post, a radical Hindu mob surrounded the Christians just before they were arrested.
They have since been released.
Sajan K. George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians, said that the Christians are “vulnerable and subjected to harassment and persecution by both extremist as well as authorities, who are responsible for protecting citizens. Clearly, Christians are considered second-class citizens in secular India."
AsiaNews first reported that police arrived to arrest the 15 Christians as a way to “protect” them from the mob of Hindu radicals.
Police told the Christians they must notify authorities before any prayer services.
George said: “(The police) acted against people who were praying in a private place. The police should have only dispersed the mob that had gathered outside the church."
There are many reports that Christianity is being restricted in villages in India with many being forced to reconvert to Hinduism.
In response to the conflicts, International Christian Concern has launched a petition asking authorities in more than 50 villages to stop targeting Christians and charging them with crimes that have little or no evidence.
“We are joining our voice with our Indian brothers and sisters in Christ to call on the Prime Minister of India to specifically address the banning of Christianity. We believe in a society which touts religious tolerance and freedom. No one should be banned from practicing their faith freely. Sign our petition and let Christians in India know they are not alone in this fight," the group said of the petition.
Publication date: January 5, 2016