Dayal also says, ENI reported, that Christians enjoyed “better religious freedom three decades ago than now,” and notes that lower courts in several areas have often been “hostile to Christian grievances where they get little relief.”
While India stopped allowing missionaries to enter the country decades ago, ENI said Dayal comments that, “Christian missionaries who have done exemplary service to the nation have been unceremoniously packed off by the government denying them visa extensions on one pretext or other.”
Apart from that, the author says that the State machinery has been used to harass Christians and their institutions, even by secular governments.
“In this context, one will wonder what is the meaning of the religious freedom spelt out under fundamental freedom in our constitution,” ENI reported Dayal says.
“But, what we (Christians) have faced from 1990's has capped it all,” argues Dayal, who has visited almost every troubled spot in the country following attacks on Christians.
“A Matter of Equity” cites systematic and orchestrated attacks on Christian targets by Hindu fundamentalist forces that ENI reported the author laments as being rooted in a “belief in violence.”
Dayal says that during recent times India has recorded hundreds of incidents of deliberate violence against Christians, including the murders of priests, rapes of nuns, and brutal assaults on missionaries, besides attacks on Christian gatherings and buildings. On the other hand, ENI reported, Dayal says following the steady rise in atrocities, churches have also begun to speak up and come out on to the streets.
However, Dayal says that church leaders have failed to provide strong leadership for the 26 million Christians in India, or “to demand from the government what has been taken away over the decades.”
“A Matter of Equity: Freedom of Faith in Secular India,” by John Dayal, is published by New Delhi-based Anamika Publishers and Distributors