Religion

India’s Christians concerned about growing attacks on religious minorities

Indian Christians receive holy communion from a priest during Easter mass at a Church in Gauhati, India, Sunday, April 5, 2015.
Indian Christians receive holy communion from a priest during Easter mass at a Church in Gauhati, India, Sunday, April 5, 2015. AP

The annual report of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom has cited an “increase of harassment and violence” among India’s Christian community. Recent attacks have come against a background of fear, triggered by Hindus in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party, that Christians are increasing their efforts to proselytize – especially in schools.

What is not widely understood outside of India is that these Christian schools are largely Hindu. Of the 2,500 students at Mount Carmel School in New Delhi, for example, 75 percent are Hindu, 17 percent are Christian and fewer than 2 percent are Muslim. There are some Buddhist students as well.

The emphasis at Mount Carmel is not on religion but rather on values since most of the students – and teachers – are not Christians. This is common practice in India, and Christian schools have been known for their emphasis on quality education since the days of colonization.

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