Members of the Christian community staged a protest at Jantar Mantar here on Sunday against alleged "attacks on churches, violence and arrests" in different parts of the country.
"We are being accused of forcibly converting people to Christianity. Churches are being attacked, our people are being beaten up and arrested. The community members are living in a constant state of panic," Steven from Uttar Pradesh said.
He claimed that the country saw "525 cases of atrocities against the members of the community in 2021 and 600 cases in 2022". "In Uttar Pradesh, the number of such cases increased from 70 in 2020 to 183 in 2022," he claimed.
Shivpal from Fatehpur in Uttar Pradesh alleged that the state police has been arresting people over allegations of forced conversions. "We are not even allowed to pray in our houses. A few women were arrested for offering prayers during a birthday celebration," he said.
One of the FIRs filed against the members of the community names an 11-year-old and a person who died in 2010, Steven alleged. "Churches are being attacked and our community members harassed in Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and many other states. Cases are being filed against them on the basis of false charges. We have come here to express solidarity with our brothers and sisters," Poonam, who came from Delhi's Punjabi Bagh, said.