The Archbishop of Calcutta, Joseph D’Souza, told Fox News that it open season on Christians India due to the rise of Hindu radicalism:
In an interview with Fox News Digital last year, Archbishop Joseph D’Souza said he is concerned about India’s image in the world because of the escalating attacks against Christians.
D’Souza, who is archbishop of the Anglican Good Shepherd Church of India, said it has “become an open season for attacks against Christian minorities” in the country.
“This is not ultimately about India’s Christians and Christian community,” said D’Souza. “It’s ultimately about the rights of the low caste and the untouchables.”
Noting the appeal Christianity has for society’s outcasts, he said he sees the ongoing attacks as a concerted effort “from an upper-caste Hindu elite that does not want these people to exercise whatever rights they have, including the right to believe or not believe; to stay within the caste system or not stay within the caste system.”
Todd Nettleton, chief of media relations for Voice of the Martyrs, was not surprised that the Indian government has dismissed the claims of Christian persecution, explaining to Fox News Digital how Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi emerged from Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), which is one of India’s main Hindu nationalist organizations.
Nettleton doubts Modi will admit to Christian persecution in his country, noting how members of his own government have called India “Hindustan,” or “land of the Hindus.”
“The anti-conversion laws are one part of the story,” said Nettleton. “But even without laws or without the government formally sanctioning Christians, any radical Hindu that attacks a Christian knows that he is acting in accordance with government wishes, and knows that he likely will not face a fierce, motivated prosecution for his crimes.”
Nettleton said his organization has also received reports of “a nationwide anti-missionary network” that hands out cards with a phone number on it for anyone to call if they witness Christian missionary activity. “Then they send in people to make trouble for the Christians doing outreach – legal trouble or physical threats,” he added.
Predicting the Indian Supreme Court’s ultimate response to the Christians’ petition is difficult, Nettleton said. “There is such an attitude within the government against Christianity, against anything other than Hinduism. So you hope that the Supreme Court will follow the law and hold out for religious freedom, but it’s hard to feel super hopeful when you see everything else that’s going on in India.”