Supreme Court hearing on violence against Indian Christians on 11 July
by Nirmala Carvalho

The archbishop of Bangalore and other Christian groups filed a plea, accepted by the Supreme Court, noting that in May alone, 57 attacks were reported on places of worship and other Church-related facilities. The “government machinery [. . .] can control the fringe elements,” Archbishop Peter Machado told AsiaNews.

New Delhi (AsiaNews) – The Supreme Court of India on 11 July will examine a plea to stop “hate speech” against the Christian community and attacks on their places of worship.

The request, presented by Archbishop Peter Machado of Bangalore together with the National Solidarity Forum and the Evangelical Fellowship of India, will be examined by Justices Surya Kant and JB Pardiwala.

“In May, 57 cases of violence happened and more attacks are anticipated," said Senior Advocate Colin Gonsalves, on behalf of the petitioners, as he called for an urgent hearing.

“It is unfortunate if what he (lawyer Colin Gonsalves) is saying is right but we can't say more on the merit of the plea. List for hearing on July 11,” the Supreme Court said.

The plea mentions “sinister phenomena of violence" and “targeted hate speech” against the country’s Christian community by vigilante groups and members of right-wing nationalist organisations.

It further alleges that the central and state governments have not taken immediate and necessary action against groups engaged in widespread violence, including attacks on Christian places of worship and other facilities run by Christians.

“The appeal was filed by our legal team,” said Archbishop Peter Machado of Bangalore speaking to AsiaNews. “We still have hope in the government machinery. They can control the fringe elements,” he added. “And more than anything we have immense hope in the judiciary, which has stood by the rights of minorities and the harassed.”