The Real War on Christmas: Burning Santa & Anti-Christian Violence in India

By Abdulla Gaafarelkhalifa

While conservatives cry about a “war on Christmas in the US,” they are either silent or unaware of the actual war on Christmas in India. With Hindutva ideology on the rise, anti-Christian attacks are as well, particularly around Christmas time.

On Christmas Eve, Hindutva supporters barged into a school in Pataudi town, in Haryana’s Gurugram district, chanting "Glory to Lord Rama," purposely disrupting Christmas prayers.

The person you see on the video above was identified as Ram Pradeep Pand, a local resident. He told “They [kids] have a delicate mind… When this happens, their allegiance towards Bhagavad Gita, Ram and Ramayan ends. After which we thought they were doing religious conversion. We asked them to stop. When they didn’t listen we took to the stage and shouted slogans of Jai Shri Ram.”

On the evening of Christmas Day, within Ambala Cantonment, in the state of Haryana, a Jesus statue on the grounds of a colonial era British church was vandalized by two unknown people. The church was built in 1843 and the vandalized statue was added in 1848.

On a more ridiculous note of anti-Christan hate, Santa Clause effigies have been burned by a crowd near St John's College in Agra, Uttar Pradesh. Members of the crowd believe Santa Clause is a part of a "strategy" by Christian missionaries to convert people.

General secretary Ajju Chauhan, of the right wing Hindu group Bajrang Dal, one of the groups that led the protest, told India Today, "Santa does not come bearing any gifts, his only goal is to convert the Hindus to Christianity. It's not going to work anymore. Any attempt at conversion will not be allowed to succeed. If this is not stopped, then there will be agitations at missionary schools.”

Christians make up just 2.3 percent of India’s population. In Delhi, a report was released in October, titled, “Christians Under Attack in India”, by human rights groups United Against Hate, United Christian Forum, and the Association of Protection Civil Rights, which documented over 300 cases in the first nine months of 2021.

Former member of Delhi Minorities Commission and National Coordinator of United Christian Forum, A. C. Michael, said at the press conference, “The fears which are being fuelled of Christians converting Hindus is baseless. The brutal attacks have taken place over 21 states. Most of the incidents are taking place in the northern states and 288 instances were of mob violence. This is a scary situation, raising critical questions over the role and the position of the National Human Rights Commission and the home ministry and their failures in stopping this violence.” He also added, “Over 49 FIR’s have been registered too, but no substantial action has taken place.”

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