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Report: Religious Persecution Set to Rise in India and China in 2021

A church building in the Funan, Anhui region of China is torn down on the order of Chinese government officials while the congregation worships inside. (Image credit: China Aid)
A church building in the Funan, Anhui region of China is torn down on the order of Chinese government officials while the congregation worships inside. (Image credit: China Aid)

Religious persecution is projected to rise in 2021, warns Release International (RI), an organization that supports persecuted Christians around the world. 

In the organization's report, RI revealed that persecution is growing in communist China due to oppressive laws against religion, the closing of multiple churches, and the increasing number of houses of worship that must display signs honoring the regime's principles and beliefs.

"The government of President Xi Jinping is increasing its 'clean up' of anything that does not advance the communist agenda. They appear to believe that they can achieve this by systematic opposition," said one RI partner.  

And China is using the coronavirus pandemic to reinforce their restrictions against Christians.

"The Chinese Government is trying every way to take advantage of the virus by increasing the crackdown against Christian churches," said Bob Fu with ChinaAid. 

Christians in India Suffering at the Hands of Vigilante Mobs

In India, growing Hindu nationalism is reportedly behind the violent persecution of Christians since the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) assumed power in 2014.

The report noted that Christians suffered 225 incidents of religious violence during the first ten months of 2020. During the same timeframe in 2019, 218 attacks were reported with many carried out by vigilante mobs.

In September 2020, Hindu radicals provoked crowds of up to 3,000 people to attack Christians in three villages in Chhattisgarh state.

Additionally, Nigeria was also mentioned in the report. Christians in several regions of the country continue to be at risk from Muslim militants and Islamic extremists.

'We have seen well-planned, well-orchestrated, systematic attacks on Christian communities that have nothing to do with a fight for grazing lands,' said another RI partner, Rev. Hassan John.

"These attacks are driven by an Islamist ideology, aimed at destroying 'the infidels' and, in many places, displacing them from their communities, while the government, by design or omission, turns a blind eye to the carnage."

As CBN News reported earlier this month, members of the Islamic extremist group Boko Haram reportedly attacked and killed 11 people in a Christian village in northern Nigeria on Christmas Eve.

The group's leader, Abubakar Shekau also took credit for abducting more than 300 schoolchildren earlier this month, indicating that the children were being punished for "un-Islamic practices." 

Meanwhile, Fulani Islamic militants in Kaduna state killed 18 people in a series of attacks on Christian villages right before Christmas.

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