(International Christian Concern) – Christians in Uttar Pradesh, a state located in northern India, are no strangers to persecution. Year after year, Uttar Pradesh is identified as the state where most Christian persecution incidents are recorded in India. According to the Evangelical Fellowship of India (EFI), 86 of the 366 violent attacks on Indian Christians recorded in 2019 took place in Uttar Pradesh.
Unfortunately, 2020 has seen little improvement. According to EFI, 32 incidents of religiously motivated violence against Christians were documented in Uttar Pradesh in just the first six months of 2020. While the COVID-19 pandemic likely reduced the rate of persecution in Uttar Pradesh, recent reports indicate that the number of attacks on Christians is increasing as India emerges from lockdown.
“I would have been killed if God hadn’t been with me,” Pastor Alok Tomar, age 24, recently told International Christian Concern (ICC). “I was worried that I would not survive as the torture was so intense. Different ones took turns as I was beaten with lashes from the police belt.”