India’s Supreme Court is to hear a petition seeking a direction to end “hate speech” targeted against Christians and attacks on their places of worship.
The petition, originally scheduled for 11 July, will now be heard on 15 July.
The petition was filed by the Archbishop of Bangalore Dr Peter Machado together with the National Solidarity Forum and the Evangelical Fellowship of India.
Senior Advocate Colin Gonsalves, on behalf of the petitioners, said there are on average 45 to 50 violent attacks on Christian institutions and church leaders every month in India. However, 57 violent incidents took place in May.
The plea refers to a “sinister phenomena of violence” and “targeted hate speech” against the Christian community by vigilante groups and nationalist organisations.
It alleges that central and state governments have not taken immediate and necessary action against groups involved in widespread violence, including attacks on Christian places of worship.
“The appeal was filed by our legal team,” said the archbishop. “We still have hope in the government machinery. They can control the fringe elements.
“And more than anything we have immense hope in the judiciary, which has stood by the rights of minorities and the harassed.”