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Indian Lawyers Become Aid Workers As Poorest Face Humanitarian Crisis

In India, teams of lawyers and activists who would normally support persecuted Christians with legal aid have used their resources to bring food and essential commodities to the poor. The lock down in India due to the Corona pandemic has caused an increase in the humanitarian need amongst the poorest in society. Responding to this, ADF India’s legal aid centres have provided aid, food, and commodities to the vulnerable in their communities.

“Moved by this unfortunate state of affairs, our team members are responding to the humanitarian crisis unfolding around us. The Uttar Pradesh Legal Aid Centre provided food to people who walked for more than 700 kilometers in an attempt to get home to their villages, other Legal Aid Centres distributed essential food items to people in their districts. A few members of the Delhi team worked with local district authorities and helped support close to 100 very vulnerable families. Those who could not go out provided support in the form of monetary contributions to support and encouraged the Team in their efforts. Going beyond the call of duty, our Team Members have taken this initiative to serve others in need just as how they serve our Christian brothers and sisters in times of persecution,” said Tehmina Arora, Director of ADF India.

Indian Christians during the corona pandemic

In India, the government measures taken against the spread of the Corona pandemic have, in fact, also slowed down violence against Christians. As people are in their homes, such incidences have decreased from about one a day to three per week. Nevertheless, this only provides a moment of recovery for Christian communities.

Since 2019, violence against Christians has risen significantly. The United Christian Forum and ADF India documented over 78 incidents of harassment and mob violence against Christians in 2020 alone. The attacks usually take a similar shape and often the police fail to take action against the mobs. A mob will arrive at a prayer meeting or Christian gathering, shout abuse and harassment, and beat up those in attendance including women and children. Then, the pastors or priests are usually arrested by the police under false allegations of forced conversions.

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