Attacks against Christians in India by Hindu ethnonationalists have doubled in just a year. In addition to physical violence, Christians in India are finding themselves to be charged without reason or with forged evidence for serious crimes. According to a source, the purpose of this is to portray Christians as ‘unpatriotic’ and and ‘threat’ to ‘public safety’:
Hindu attacks on Christians in India have doubled in the past year as part of an unprecedented trend to portray Christians as acting against the state, its religious tolerance and national ethos, according to a newly released report.
The country recorded 736 incidents of attacks against Christians in 2017 against 348 in 2016, according to data from Persecution Relief, an ecumenical forum that records Christian persecution in India and helps victims.
Most police complaints filed against victims accused them of crimes such as sedition, working against religious tolerance, discriminating against people, acting against national integration, defiling places of worship and insulting religions, the report revealed.
“It is a new trend to accuse Christians of serious crimes,” said Shibu Thomas, founder of Persecution Relief. If sedition charges are proved, the accused can get life terms in prison, he told ucanews.com.
Filing such complaints “is a clear indication that those opposed to Christians want to portray them as serious threats to the nation’s safety and security,” Thomas said.
Christian leaders say violence against their people increased after the pro-Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came to power in 2014 with the support of Hindu groups who want to make India a Hindu-alone state. These groups attempt to present religious minorities like Christians and Muslims as unpatriotic.
Christians suffered violence throughout India in the past year as violence was reported from 24 of its 29 states.
Most incidents were “daring physical attacks” on church leaders and members, the report said.
The four states of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Chhattisgarh accounted for 57 percent of incidents.
Uttar Pradesh in northern India, where the BJP came to power in 2017, recorded 69 attacks, up from 39 incidents in 2016 when the socialist Samajwadi Party was in power.
Madhya Pradesh, where the BJP has governed for 15 years, recorded 52 incidents, an increase of 54 percent from 2016, while Tamil Nadu recorded 48 incidents, up 60 percent.
Pastor Anil Andrias, who works in Uttar Pradesh, told ucanews.com that since firebrand BJP leader Yogi Adityanath became chief minister, the state has become an unsafe place for Christians because Hindu groups believe they have the support of the government.
“Christians are not safe anymore in India under the current situation,” he said, noting that the BJP is in power in New Delhi and leads the governments in 19 of India’s 29 states.
“Christians’ struggles will certainly multiply if the ruling dispensation retains power after the 2019 general election.”
Andrias said typical attacks involved Hindu activists opposing prayer gatherings and physically attacking Christian leaders and congregations who defied orders not to gather. Christians are beaten, their small churches are burned and in some cases social prohibitions are imposed on them, the pastor said.
Andrias said attackers then file police complaints accusing victims of inviting attacks by offending local people and their religious sentiments.
“They threaten believers and their leaders with measures like social boycotts if they practice Christianity,” he said.
Christians are denied government welfare schemes and restrained from collecting water from public water sources or using public roads as part of the harassment, Andrias said.
Thomas said false cases are a major worry.
“In 99 percent of cases, they bring false witnesses and charge victimized Christians with serious offenses like sedition,” he said.
“When victims reach for police help, they find themselves accused of violations. ‘It is you who have done it,’ police say. This is a dangerous sign. Unfortunately, the police are in league with fanatics and elected members support their actions.”
However, Sheela Santiago, a Catholic and a BJP leader in Madhya Pradesh, said her party and its members were not involved in any incidents against Christians. “The BJP is a national party that works for all without any discrimination.”
She admitted that “some hard-line Hindu groups” were involved in incidents because of their misunderstanding that Christians are involved in converting Hindus using force or allurement.
Christians account for 2.3 per cent or 29 million of India’s population of 1.3 billion, some 80 percent of them Hindus. (source)
Now there will always be conflicts between different groups of people, and sometimes points made are based in reality. However, one notices throughout history there are certain “charges” that are consistently brought against groups when the reason is not whether or not the group actually committed a crime, but simply a justification of a crime for an ulterior motive, which is usually rooted in a sense of superiority coupled with a dislike of the other group. These “charges” often times involve claims of entire groups of people being “traitors,” having “low intelligence”, or threatening “genetic superiority,” which are then parlayed into support of eugenics.
While many nations have engaged in this, America has been uniquely inspirational in the formation of modern eugenics. Drawing upon ideas that for the most part originated in the Protestant regions of central and northern Europe, American ingeneuity expanded upon and put into practice these ideas with such efficiency that she inspired modern European eugenicists, most famously including the National Socialists of Germany, who went so far as to send a formal delegation to the USA to study her programs and techniques. The American eugenics movement worked in conjunction with the “nativist” sentiment that was and still remains strong among the population to this day. However, whether it was in the USA, Germany, Japan, or now India with the introduction of the Aadhar system to catalogue and track the movement of each of India’s citizens, the end will be the same, which is destruction and death in the name of power and gain.
The accusations of the Hindus against the Christians is strikingly similar to the rhetoric used by American Protestants, mostly of Anglo-Saxon or German background, against Catholic immigrants to the USA, which did not begin with the Irish and German immigration in the 19th century, but goes well back to the 17th century, such as in 1691 when amid anti-Catholic fervor, New York State instituted the British Test Act, which made all people entering into public office swear against the Eucharist and the Church:
I, N, do declare that I do believe that there is not any transubstantiation in the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, or in the elements of the bread and wine, at or after the consecration thereof by any person whatsoever. (source)
Less than ten years later, all Catholic priests were banned from New York on penalty of life imprisonment, a provision which was not repealed until 1806. However, it did not stop bouts of violence by Protestants against Catholics, which continued into the 20th century, who up until the time of President Kennedy viewed Catholics as unable to be “true Americans” because of “Popery”- that they would be “loyal to the Pope” before being “loyal to the country.”
One of the worst incidents of such violence was the March 14th, 1891 anti-Italian riots in New Orleans, Louisiana, which is also regarded as one of and possibly the worst mass lynching in US history. The incident started after the murder of Police Captain David Hennessey, which was blamed on local Sicilian immigrants however, without any proof. The Sicilians were already disliked by many of the locals, including the mayor, Joseph Shakespeare, who said that in addition to being a source of disease, they were “without courage, honor, truth, pride, religion, or any quality that goes to make a good citizen.”
Within a day after the murder dozens of people were arrested, but only 19 were put up to face a trial, of which most of them were either Italians known to frequent areas that Hennessey frequented or were said to be near the area when he died. The newspapers kept up continual negative coverage of the Italian community which added to the fervor. Eventually a trial was set for nine of the accused, albeit with much difficultly, and testimony began. No concrete evidence was offered to connect those charged with a crime, and so the charges were dropped.
The attention that had built up around the case exploded after the acquittal. Many of the jurors lost their jobs or were attacked for not finding the men guilty. Calls escalated for mob justice including in the local newspaper:
Rise, people of New Orleans! Alien hands of oath-bound assassins have set the blot of a martyr’s blood upon your vaunted civilization! Your laws, in the very Temple of Justice, have been jbought off, and suborners have caused to be turned loose upon your streets the midnight murderers of David C. Hennessy, in whose premature grave the very majesty of our American law lies buried with his mangled corpse — the corpse of him who in life was the representative, the conservator of your peace and dignity. (source)
A mob of 150 men descended on the prison on March 14th, 1891 and broke down the prison gate. Police did not stop them, and the prison warden ordered all the men back into their cell except for the 19 accused Italians. Eight of the men managed to hide and escape the mob, but the other eleven were taken out, and shot or clubbed to death before being hung from trees or light posts.
A rare photo of the mob gathered outside the day of the lynching (source)
The day after the lynchings, the newspapers supported what happened, including the New York Times saying:
These sneaking and cowardly Sicilians, the descendants of bandits and assassins, who have transported to this country the lawless passions, the cut-throat practices, and the oath-bound societies of their native country, are to us a pest without mitigation. Our own rattlesnakes are as good citizens as they…Lynch law was the only course open to the people of New Orleans. (NY Times, March 16, 1891)
A brief criminal investigation was opened, but nobody was ever prosecuted for it, and some of the members of the lynch mob went on to have successful political careers, including future Louisiana Governor John Parker, who never apologized for the incident and defended his actions until his death.
When word of the event reached the Italian embassy, they pulled their ambassador and the government demanded an apology. Instead, the US Government refused to apologize, and pulled the US ambassador from Italy. The incident was so serious that it almost resulted in a war between the US and Italy. Future President Theodore Roosevelt, who was serving on the US Civil Service Committee, wrote to his sister about the incident that:
Monday we dined at the Camerons; various dago diplomats were present, all much wrought up by the lynching of the Italians in New Orleans. Personally I think it rather a good thing, and said so (source)
Now it is true that much has changed since 1891. Many Italian people have been “integrated” into America, and foods such as pasta, pizza, and calzones are thought of as “American” food. However, there was a time in the not distant past when they were not, and even in some areas today, they are still thought of as “foreign food” and the people associated with being “less than American.” The irony is that just as in the past, it was the immigrant labor that was intentionally brought over used to build the USA into what it is today. As we have noted at Shoebat.com, for economic reasons the US Government allows for immigration law violations to fill jobs in the agricultural industry but also other sectors in which it is difficult to find consistent employment. One such sector is the carpet industry in northern Georgia, which I understand well because I worked in this area in a human resources position for one of the major carpet companies:
Business is booming in Dalton. The town has finally bounced back from the Great Recession, when it suffered some of the worst job losses in the country. Now employers here have a different problem: too many open jobs, and not enough applicants to fill them.
Roberts supports President Trump, who he thinks has been good for business. Still, Roberts is anxious about what the president’s immigration policies could mean for the local economy. He’s particularly concerned about the future of DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.
DACA allows undocumented immigrants brought to the country as children to live and work here.
“What kind of impact, if those folks are gonna be deported, what’s that gonna have on the labor force?” Roberts asked. “It’s a legitimate question.”
DACA is now at the center of the immigration debate on Capitol Hill, and in the courts. The Trump administration moved to end the program, saying that Congress needs to come up with a replacement. And employers in Dalton are worried about what happens next.
“DACA has been a big issue for us,” said Rob Bradham, president of the Greater Dalton Chamber of Commerce. “Just because they’re valuable employees to our industries, and we don’t we don’t want to lose them.” Bradham says as many as 4,000 DACA recipients live in the Dalton area.
That’s not the only thing employers here are worried about.
The Trump administration has also threatened to crack down on businesses that hire undocumented immigrants. In Dalton, that’s bringing back memories of the 1990s, when immigration authorities raided some of the biggest carpet mills in town. Now, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is talking about ramping up workplace raids again.
“This year you’re gonna see a significant increase in worksite enforcement,” ICE acting director Thomas Homan says. “We gonna hold employers responsible, and take action on the employer. Plus we’re going to arrest the illegal alien that’s working at the site.”
In Georgia, this should not be a problem. The state passed a law a few years ago that requires big employers to use the federal E-Verify system, an online tool that reviews paperwork Internet to ensure that workers have legal status.
But immigration lawyers say in practice, the system isn’t foolproof.
“There are some employers in this area that I know of that do hire a lot of illegal immigrants, that do not have status,” said Joseph Baldwin, a local immigration attorney. He says he’s gotten calls from nervous employers.
“They’re saying, I can’t afford to lose these employees that are really sort of running things here,” Baldwin said. “You know these guys have no criminal records. They’ve got families. They’re really part of my family now. What can we do? Unfortunately, more times than not, the answer is, there’s no solution.”
Community leaders told me that only about 10 percent of immigrants in Dalton are here illegally, and that most do have legal status. Some have lived in Dalton for decades, raising families and starting businesses here.
Mariscos Puerto Vallarta is a seafood restaurant in Dalton that’s owned by Mexican immigrants. Over a lunch of ceviche and fish tacos, several local businessmen said that fear and uncertainty hang over a lot of families here.
“A family that has someone with DACA, they don’t know yet what’s gonna happen,” said Francisco Paniagua, who owns two car dealerships in the Dalton area. “All these people, they could buy houses. They could buy cars, whatever. But they are afraid. They are not spending money right now, I think.”
These community leaders say that’s a problem for business. And the region’s economy, too. (source)
While it did not happen during my tenure, I don’t recall a company in this area that has not been raided by ICE before. It is also why all of these companies use temporary services for most of their hiring, since it provides a shield for any person without proper documentation, because after a series of raids that took place in the 1990s, the companies wised up.
From what I saw, none of the companies in the area actually hire without proper papers. If a person does not have papers and his “tenure” is up (usually it is several months) and he can be hired, he will disappear for several days and then return through the same agency with different paperwork and another name. This happens as a matter of course, and all of the employers know it.
Likewise, there is the issue of hiring. Most of the carpet mills pay between $10 to $15 per hour, depending on the job. “Creelers” (the people who put the yard bobbins into the machines) and “twisters” (those who operate the machines which turn flat yarn into carpet thread) make the least, “heat setters” (those who operate pressure machines that crimp and seal yarn) are in the middle range, and “extruders” (those who work with molten plastic and wind bobbins of flat yarn) make the most, next to mechanics. The jobs are all physically demanding, with being on one’s feet for hours, and with 12 hour shifts and alternating work days (three days one week, four days the next with at least two weekends a month being worked), it is grueling. The schedules are not conducive to any kind of consistency, and the job itself can be very frustrating.
A carpet mill. These are twisting machines, turning flat yarn into yarn for a carpet,
There is also the fact that due to the nature of the work, it tends to attract people from the lower echelons of American society. It was not uncommon to have prostitutes, criminals, drug dealers, and drug addicts working the machines. Neither was it uncommon to find drugs or used condoms on the plant floors, let alone be offered drugs or propositioned for sex by employees. People would regularly come and go, either because they were arrested or because they were too high and forgot to come to work. It was such a regular occurrence that one would find out why a person missed work often times by checking the local police blotter or county jail records. Two people at the place where I worked were involved in an armed robbery and attempted murder and are now serving two decades behind bars. Another man I know actively came into the plant with cut hand and ankle cuffs, was given a job, and three days later he disappeared as the local police came and said they were looking for him, for he had escaped from a Tennessee county jail and they were tipped off by computer flagging when he gave his actual social security number on his application.
Almost all of the people I speak of above are American, non-immigrant people, who are both white and black.
This is contrasted with the immigrants, who in this area mostly come from Guatemala or southern Mexico. Many did not have proper papers, but almost universally they were hard workers and grateful. They rarely had any issues, and there were no issues on the job with drugs, fighting, violence, threatening, or showing up to work high, and no used condoms or broken needles in the areas where they worked, as the Guatemalan people would usually be placed together as most did not understand English well. There was one incident of sexual propositioning among them that I encountered, but that was all, and it was by a woman who had lived in the USA for many years.
The biggest issue with the Guatemalans was the lack of papers, but as mentioned earlier, if an issue came up the person would disappear and then reappear with a new application and papers a few days later. Some of the names were quite ingenious, such as the time the company I was with employed “Charles Manson” with Social Security Number “123-45-5666”, “Marie Callender,” and “Arnold Schwartzenegger”. However, while “Charles Manson” did not speak any English and this was his first job working on the “twisting” machines, within a matter of two months he was running more machines than some experienced American operators.
If ICE conducts ANY raids in this area, it will likely only be for political reasons and will probably not have any serious effects because the entire economy depends on the illegal Guatemalan labor. In the plant where I was stationed, it was difficult to find a single “American” person who had not worked for the plant or one of the nearby plants. Most quit because of the miserable conditions or were fired for some form of on-work misconduct, usually involving drugs. The Guatemalan labor is the backbone of the area because having lived in Guatemala, where the annual income is less than $2000 a year, the ability to make $10 an hour is a dream come true, and many of them send as much money back to Guatemala as they can.
I remember speaking with one Guatemalan man who was able to get his legal situation legitimized, and was an actual corporate employee. He worked for five years and this was going to be his last year because he said he was returning to Guatemala. He had saved up his money, earned extra with overtime, and had built himself a house on a small hacienda he purchased. He said that he had enough money to live the rest of his life without working and to give his children and inheritance.
It is true that many of the Guatemalan people have stayed in the USA. However, they have been allowed to stay because they are doing work that many of the locals do not want to do, and given the fact that 70% of the world’s carpet is manufactured in a 100 mile range of Dalton, GA, the industry NEEDS people to work. Many of these same locals who complain about THE ILLEGALS TAKING OUR JOBS are the same people who are still on drugs, still being arrested, and still not taking care of themselves. I do not say this to demean the locals, but as a fact of observation and experience.
I’m not saying that working in a carpet factory is fun or great, or should be a long term career choice. It is grueling work and wears one’s body out. However, it pays better on average than farm work, and what many Americans will not do is what the Guatemalans will line up to do. One may call them “unpatriotic”, “low IQ,” “border jumpers,” or something else, but the fact is that they are being allowed in because their labor supports what is left of the manufacturing base of the USA instead of just empty words, because money talks.
I bring this back to the discussion of Christians in India. The accusations of Christians being “unpatriotic” because they are not Hindus is just as ridiculous as the Hindu claims that Christians are forcing Hindus to convert. The fact is that many Hindus convert because Hinduism is a racist religion that benefits a minority at the expense of the majority, and perhaps they leave because they are tired of being discriminated against as a part of the Hindu religious doctrine.
Just as with the Italians of America in the past, or the Guatemalans today, or a case abroad such as that in India, there is usually more than meets the eye, and the calling up of nationalist sentiments against another group, while not always so, has been consistently shown to be used as a response to rally attention against a cause while refusing to address the other issues that brought about the situation at hand. It is nothing less than a distraction made in the name of power at the expense of another that can be used for an easy scapegoat.