MUMBAI – In the wake of a mass indictment of 42 people in India over charges of fraudulent conversion of members of poor and tribal communities to Christianity, a Catholic expert is warning that recent elections in several Indian states, which saw strong gains for the Hindu nationalist party of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, may make the situation worse.
In effect, Father Anand Matthew suggested that in light of accelerating crackdowns under India’s anti-conversion law, Christianity in the country may need to return to the model of the early church of lay-led small Christian communities able to fly below the radar of government authorities.
“Anti-Christian intolerance and harassment has already been bad, and this victory doesn’t augur well for religious freedom in these states,” said Mathew, a prominent social activist and a member of the Indian Mission Society.
The new gains for Modi’s BJP party, taking control of three states in northern India, come ahead of national elections set for next year.
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