Indian Christians have welcomed the Supreme Court’s directive to states to supply information about the persecution of Christians.
The court’s order, issued on 1 September, requires eight Indian states to submit evidence concerning alleged attacks against Christians, including police reports.
“We are satisfied with the Supreme Court order,” announced Archbishop of Bangalore Dr Peter Machado.
Fellow petitioner AC Michael also described the order as “very satisfactory”, adding, “It will help bring out the truth.”
The order follows a petition submitted to the Supreme Court in July by Archbishop Machado together with the National Solidarity Forum and the Evangelical Fellowship of India.
The petition called for a directive to end “hate speech” targeted against Christians and attacks on their places of worship.
The petitioners asserted that on average 45 to 50 violent attacks are perpetrated on Christian institutions and church leaders every month in India, with a record 57 incidents recorded in May 2022 and more than 500 such attacks in 2021.
The court’s order demonstrates that these allegations of anti-Christian violence are being taken seriously.
The eight states required to submit evidence to the Supreme Court are Bihar, Haryana, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. In view of the seriousness of the allegations, the court set a deadline of two months for the verification process to be completed.