Crosses taken down; tombstones smashed. State led by Hindu nationalist party. Growing violence against Christians in the region. The Hindu Yuva Vahini organization, founded by the Chief Minister, for the return of the Dalits to Hinduism.
Allahabad (AsiaNews) - Crosses taken down; tombstones smashed: at least ten Christian tombs were vandalized in the Rajapur Allahabad cemetery (Uttar Pradesh), as shown in a video published below and provided by the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC). Its president, Sajan K George, told AsiaNews: "The violence against Christian tombs deeply hurt our religious feelings and show contempt for our ancestors. “This is done with the culture of impunity, and with intent to cause insecurity and fear in the minds of the minisucule Christian community. As can be seen, crosses have been broken, and epitaphs of nearly a dozen graves have been smashed”.
Uttar Pradesh is the most populous state in India, where the Hindu nationalist BJP party won an unprecedented victory in recent weeks. But the state is also known for a crescendo of violence against Christians.
On the same days the vandalism took place at the cemetery, the Hindu Yuva Vahini volunteers, an organization of the extreme right founded in 2002 by the current Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath, began spreading accusations of forced conversions to Christianity of local Dalit communities.
Sajan K George calls the allegations "completely unfounded."
Toma, the head of the Hindu Yuva Vahini for the area west of Uttar Pradesh said: "The Christian missionaries have lured our young people for decades. We must identify these people and persuade them to return to their religion of origin. "
The GCIC president said: "India is a democratic and secular nation, and we Christians are a tiny 2.3% of the population. The conversion accusations are baseless and false."