Several Christian leaders in the state of Chhattisgarh, India, have submitted a letter demanding the main political parties to try to end discrimination and violence in the country. The letter prepared by the leaders of the Christian Ecumenical Forum in Chhattisgarh expressed concern for the safety of the small Christian community in the central state, now governed by the pro-Hindu party Bharatiya Janata. The letter also calls on the next government to commit itself to guaranteeing religious freedom. “Christians are often denied government work and other benefits precisely because of their faith,” said Ankush Baryekar, secretary general of the forum.
Christian leaders argue that the government tacitly supports the violence against Christians perpetrated by some groups, which are working to transform India into an exclusively Hindu nation. Chhattisgarh has witnessed the destruction of churches, attacks on priests and bans on prayers and Christian gatherings in various villages.
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