The latest incident among increasing attacks in recent times is a Catholic boarding school closed under the pretext of proselytism.
Madhya Pradesh is a state in central India; since 2003 it has been run by the Nationalist Hindu Party, the BJP, that has made anti-Christianity a political paradigm, so much so that Bishop Anthony Chirayath, Catholic bishop of Sagar, did not hesitate to accuse the local government of “harassment” of the Catholic minority under his pastoral care.
The latest incident to date happened on September 12, 2017, when an important Catholic boarding school in Guna was closed. This establishment, opened in 1997, provided lodging for several hundred high schoolers, mostly from “Dalit” families, families that are below the castes and therefore considered “untouchable”.
On the pretext of a “discrepancy over its title to the property”, according to Bishop Chirayath, an investigation was conducted, complaints were filed claiming that 200 people converted to Christianity, and the establishment was closed. The prelate declared to Crux:
The closing of the hostel in the Guna district is just another case of persecution by the BJP nationalists that want to chase away Catholics from the area.
In Madhya Pradesh, one of the poorest states in India, over 90% of the 72 million inhabitants are Hindus, while only 0.3% are Christians, observes Claire Lesegretain in the columns of La Croix.
The local administration is under growing pressure from nationalist Hindu groups who have made the eradication of Catholicism their priority. Acts of “Christianophobia” are thus multiplying everywhere in the country: Christians have been murdered for slaying cows and arrested for “attempted conversion” and churches have been vandalized.