10/31/2020 India (International Christian Concern) – According to the Union of Catholic Asian News (UCAN), Christian leaders in India are confronting a new media trend in which fabricated stories are used to tarnish the image of Christian missionaries.
On October 28, a delegation of Christian leaders met with the editor of Nai Duniya (New World), a mass circulation daily in India’s Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh states. In this meeting, the Christian leaders asked the editor to take corrective measures against articles that regularly appeared in the publication “maligning the Christian community.”
“Initially, we did not bother, but when it continued to publish defamatory articles against us without any base, we thought it appropriate to inform the editor about our concerns,” Bishop Chacko Thottumarickal of Indore told UCAN. “We want the editor to take corrective measures and avoid publishing baseless articles against a community and creating ill will.”
Bishop Thottumarickal told UCAN that the editor promised the delegation he would convey the delegation’s concerns onto the newspaper’s top management.
According to UCAN, an atmosphere of intolerance against Christians has prevailed across India since the pro-Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came to power in 2014. Hindu groups and pro-Hindu publications consider the BJP’s political victory as a mandate to push for India to become a Hindu nation.
This in turn has led to the proliferation of attacks on India’s religious minorities, including Muslims and Christians. The publication of articles that cast fear and suspicion upon individuals and communities deemed “foreign” by Hindu nationalists has also dramatically increased.