International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that at least 23 religiously-motivated attacks took place during the 2017 Christmas season, including attacks on carolers and open threats against Christian celebrations. The attacks have led to several Christians' hospitalization and imprisonment. The persecution created such fear among the Christian community that many Christians did not celebrate Christmas this year.
On September 17, 2017, suspected Hindu radicals attacked an Assembly of God church in India’s Karnataka state. After the attack, church attendance has plummeted as Christians in the area fear another attack. It is not surprising that attacks are increasing in Karnataka as state elections are scheduled to occur early next year. Hindu hardline groups want to silence Christians and ensure that they are unable to practice their faith.
As reported earlier this year, the first quarter of 2017 saw 248 persecution incidents wherein Christians were harassed, threatened or attacked for their faith in India. More recent records indicate the number of incidents in first six months of 2017 is now up to 410 incidents. This represents an enormous increase in persecution as there were only 441 incidents reported in 2016 for the entire year.