India is seeing a dramatic rise in persecution as more and more churches and Christians are coming under attack in 2019.
The newest figures show cases of hate and violence against India's minority Christians have jumped 57 percent in the first two months of this year.
According to the Evangelical Fellowship of India, a total of 77 incidents were documented against Christians between January and February.
Referring to two murder cases in two different Indian states in February, EFI General Secretary Rev. Vijayesh Lal said, "We have reasons to believe that both men, who were in their 40s, were killed because of their faith."
"We have recorded cases where Christians have been facing social boycott and have been excommunicated from their villages, and in a few instances have had to flee to save their lives," Lal said.
Morning Star News describes another incident that took place this year on Jan. 13 in Uttar Pradesh: "Police officers disrupted a Sunday worship service and arrested four women and two men, including the female pastor leading worship. At the police station, a female police officer physically assaulted the woman pastor, Sindhu Bharti, who fell unconscious."
"Boiling tea was forcibly thrust in her mouth because the police thought that she was feigning her unconsciousness," an eyewitness, Madhu Bharati, told Morning Star News. "When that did not work, they poured two jugs of cold water on her face, not caring that it was already severely cold due to winter."
Christians were arrested and charged with intent to hurt religious feelings, defilement of a place of worship and rioting, among other charges. The intervention of Christian leaders resulted in police freeing the arrested female Christians, but the men were kept in custody.
Violent attacks against Christians have steadily increased since a radical Hindu party took control of India's government in 2014.
Since then, Open Doors has ranked India as the tenth-worst country in the world for Christian persecution.
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