Persecution of Hindus

Persecution of Hindus

Persecution of Hindus refers to the religious persecution inflicted upon Hindus. Hindus have been historically persecuted during Islamic rule of the Indian subcontinent and during the Goa Inquisition. In modern times, Hindus in Kashmir, Pakistan and Bangladesh have also suffered persecution.

During Islamic rule of the Indian sub-continent

The Muslim conquest of the Indian subcontinent led to widespread carnage because Muslims regarded the Hindus as infidels and therefore slaughtered and converted millions of Hindus. Will Durant argued in his 1935 book "The Story of Civilization: Our Oriental Heritage" (page 459):

There is no official estimate of the total death toll of Hindus at the hands of Muslims.

As Braudel put it:"The levies it had to pay were so crushing that one catastrophic harvest wasenough to unleash famines and epidemics capable of killing a million people ata time. Appalling poverty was the constant counterpart of the conquerors'opulence."

The backward castes of Hinduism suffered worst. Monarchs (belonging to backward castes) such as Khusrau Bhangi Khan, Hemchandra and Garha-Katanga were knocked off their throne and executed. Backward caste saints like Namadeva [ P. 88 "The Rosary and the Lamp" By Baburao Patel ] were arrested, while women like Kanhopatra were forced to commit suicide. Ghisadis have an “Urdu” title. [ "The Castes and Tribes of H.E.H. the Nizam's Dominions" ] Prof. K.S. Lal, suggests a calculation in his book "Growth of Muslim Population in Medieval India" which estimates that between the years 1000 AD and 1500 AD the population of Hindus decreased by 80 million.Even those Hindus who converted to Islam were not immune from persecution, which was illustrated by the Muslim Caste System in India as established by Ziauddin al-Barani in the "Fatawa-i Jahandari". [ [ Caste in Muslim Society] by Yoginder Sikand] where they were regarded as "Ajlaf" caste and subjected to severe discrimination by the "Ashraf" castes.cite book
last = Aggarwal
first = Patrap
authorlink = Patrap C. Aggarwal
title = Caste and Social Stratification Among Muslims in India
publisher = Manohar

By Arabs

Muslim conquest of the Indian subcontinent began during the early 8th century, when the Umayyad governor of what is now Iraq, Hajjaj responded to a casus belli provided by the kidnapping of Muslim women and treasures by pirates off the coast of Debal, [ Mirza Kalichbeg Fredunbeg: The Chachnamah, An Ancient History of Sind, Giving the Hindu period down to the Arab Conquest. [] ] by mobilizing an expedition of 6,000 cavalry under Muhammad bin-Qasim in 712 CE. Records from the campaign recorded in the Chach Nama record temple demolitions, and mass executions of resisting Sindhi forces and the enslavement of their dependents. This action was particularly extensive in Debal, of which Qasim is reported to have been under orders to make an example of while freeing both the captured women and the prisoners of a previous failed expedition. Bin Qasim then enlisted the support of the local Jat, Meds and Bhutto tribes and began the process of subduing and conquering the countryside. The capture of towns was also usually accomplished by means of a treaty with a party from among his "enemy", who were then extended special privileges and material rewards. [ Wink, Andre, "Al-Hind, the Making of the Indo-Islamic World", Brill Academic Publishers, August 1, 2002, ISBN 0-391-04173-8 pg. 204] However, his superior Hajjaj reportedly objected to his method by saying that it would make him look weak and advocated a more hardline military strategy: [cite book
last = Trifkovic
first = Serge
authorlink = Serge Trifkovic
title = The Sword of the Prophet: History, Theology, Impact on the World
publisher = Regina Orthodox Press
date=September 11, 2002

In a subsequent communication, Hajjaj reiterated that all able-bodied men were to be killed, and that their underage sons and daughters were to be imprisoned and retained as hostages. Qasim obeyed, and on his arrival at the town of Brahminabad massacred between 6,000 and 16,000 of the defending forces. [cite news | first =Serge | last =Trifkovic | title =Islam’s Other Victims: India
url = | publisher | accessdate =2006-08-26
] The historian, Upendra Thakur records the persecution of Hindus and Buddhists:

Other historians and archaeologists such as J E Lohuizen-de Leeuw, take the following stance regarding events preceding the sack of Debal:

Mahmud of Ghazni

Mahmud of Ghazni was an Afghan Sultan who invaded the Indian subcontinent during the early 11th century. His campaigns across the gangetic plains are often cited for their iconoclastic plundering and destruction of Hindu temples such as those at Mathura and he looked upon their destruction as an act of "jihad". [cite book
last= Saunders
first= Kenneth
authorlink = Kenneth James Saunders
title= A Pageant of India
publisher = H. Milford, Oxford University Press pg. 162

Pradyumna Prasad Karan further describes Mahmud's invasion as one in which he put "thousands of Hindu's to the sword" and made a pastime of "raising pyramids of the skulls of the infidels". [ cite book |last=Karan |first= Pradyumna |authorlink= Pradyumna Prasad Karan |title= The Non-Western World:Environment, Development and Human Rights| publisher= Routledge pg. 344] [cite book
last = Barron
first = Milton
authorlink = Milton Lee Baron
title = Minorities in a Changing World
publisher = Knopf p54
year = 1967
] Holt "et al." hold an opposing view, that he was "no mere robber or bloody thirsty tyrant" . Mahmud shed no blood "except in the exegencies of war", P. M. (Peter Malcolm) Holt, Bernard Lewis, The Cambridge History of Islam, Cambridge University Press, April 21, 1977, ISBN 0-521-29137-2 pg 3-4.] and was tolerant in dealings with his own Hindu subjects, some of whom rose to high posts in his administration, such as his Hindu General Tilak

Mahmud of Ghazni sacked the second Somnath Temple in 1026, and looted it of gems and precious stones and the famous Shiva lingam of the temple was destroyed and it's fragments taken away to Ghazni where they were used as stepping stones for a mosque. [cite book
last = Kakar
first = Sudhir
authorlink = Sudhir kakar
title = The Colors of Violence: Cultural Identities, Religion, and Conflict
publisher = University of Chicago Press P 50

Shahab-ul-Din, King of Gazni (1170-1206), put Prithwi Raj, King of Ajmer andDelhi, to death in cold blood. He massacred thousands of the inhabitants of Ajmerwho opposed him, reserving the remainder for slavery (The Kamiu-t Tawarikh byAsir).Fact|date=February 2008

In the Taj-ul-Ma’asir by Hassn Nizam-i-Naishapuri, it is stated that when Qutb-ul-Din Aibak (1194-1210) conquered Meerat, he demolished all the Hindu temples ofthe city and erected mosques on their sites. In the city of Aligarh, he converted Hinduinhabitants to Islam by the sword and beheaded all those who adhered to their ownreligion.The Persian historian Wassaf writes in his "Tazjiyat-ul-Amsar wa Tajriyat ul Asar" that when Alaul-Din Khilji (1295-1316) captured the city of Kambayat at the head of the gulf ofCambay, he killed the adult male Hindu inhabitants for the glory of Islam, set flowing rivers of blood, sent the women of the country with all their gold, silver, and jewels, to his own home, and made about twentv thousand maidens his private slaves. Ala-ul-Din once asked his Qazi’, what was the Mohammadan law prescribed for the Hindus. The Qazi replied, “Hindus are like the mud; if silver is demanded from them, they must with the greatest humility offer gold. If a Mohammadan desire to spit into a Hindu’s mouth, the Hindu should open it wide for the purpose. God created the Hindus to be slaves of the Mohammadans. The Prophet hath ordained that, if the Hindus do not accept Islam, they should be imprisoned, tortured, finally put to death, and their property confiscated.” Sayad Mohammad Latif writes in his history of the Punjab, “Great jealousy and hatred existed those days between the Hindus and Mohammadans and the whole non-Muslim population w• subject to persecution by the Mohammadan rulers.”Fact|date=February 2008

In the Delhi Sultanate

The first Muslim Empire of India, the Sultanate of Delhi, was established in 1210 CE by Turkic tribes that invaded the subcontinent from Afghanistan. Many temples were looted and destroyed. Infamous cases include the destruction of the Somnath.Fact|date=February 2008

Muhammad Ghori

Muhammad Ghori committed genocide against Hindus at Kol (modern Aligarh), Kalinjar and Varanasi, according to Hasan Nizami's Taj-ul-Maasir, 20,000 Hindu prisoners were slaughtered and their heads offered to crows. [cite book |last= Rashid |first= A.|title=Society and Culture in Medieval India, 1206-1556 A.D. (Excerpt from Taj-ul-Maasir)|publisher= Firma K. L. Mukhopadhyay |year= 1969]

Timur the Lame's Campaign against India

Tīmūr bin Taraghay Barlas (Chagatai Turkic: تیمور - "Tēmōr", "iron") (1336 – February 1405), known in the West as Tamerlane, was a 14th century warlord of Turco-Mongol descent,B.F. Manz, "Tīmūr Lang", in Encyclopaedia of Islam, Online Edition, 2006] [The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, "Timur", 6th ed., Columbia University Press: "... Timur (timoor') or Tamerlane (tăm'urlān), c.1336–1405, Mongol conqueror, b. Kesh, near Samarkand. ...", ( [ LINK] )] [ [ "Timur"] , in Encyclopaedia Britannica: "... [Timur] was a member of the Turkic Barlas clan of Mongols..."] [ [ "Baber"] , in Encyclopaedia Britannica: "... Baber first tried to recover Samarkand, the former capital of the empire founded by his Mongol ancestor Timur Lenk ..."] conqueror of much of western and central Asia, and founder of the Timurid Empire and Timurid dynasty (1370–1405) in Central Asia, which survived in some form until 1857. Perhaps, he is more commonly known by his pejorative Persian name Timur-e Lang (PerB|تیمور لنگ) which translates to Timur the Lame, as he was lame after sustaining an injury to the leg in battle.

Informed about civil war in India, Timur began a trek starting in 1397 to invade the territory of the reigning Sultan Nasir-u Din Mehmud of the Tughlaq Dynasty in the north Indian city of Delhi.

Timur crossed the Indus River at Attock on September 24. The capture of towns and villages was often followed by the massacre of their inhabitants and the raping of their women, as well as pillaging to support his massive army. Timur wrote many times in his memoirs of his specific disdain for the 'idolatrous' Hindus, although he also waged war against Muslim Indians during his campaign.

Timur's invasion did not go unopposed and he did meet some resistance during his march to Delhi, most notably by the Sarv Khap coalition in northern India, and the Governor of Meerut. Although impressed and momentarily stalled by the valour of Ilyaas Awan, Timur was able to continue his relentless approach to Delhi, arriving in 1398 to combat the armies of Sultan Mehmud, already weakened by an internal battle for ascension within the royal family.

The Sultan's army was easily defeated on December 17, 1398. Timur entered Delhi and the city was sacked, destroyed, and left in ruins. Before the battle for Delhi, Timur executed more than 100,000 captives.

Timur himself recorded the invasions in his memoirs, collectively known as "Tuzk-i-Timuri". [ [ Volume III: To the Year A.D. 1398, Chapter: XVIII. Malfúzát-i Tímúrí, or Túzak-i Tímúrí: The Autobiography of Tímúr. Page: 389 (please press next and read all pages in the online copy)] ( [ 1. Online copy] , [ 2. Online copy] ) from: Elliot, Sir H. M., Edited by Dowson, John. The History of India, as Told by Its Own Historians. The Muhammadan Period; published by London Trubner Company 1867–1877. (Online Copy: [ The History of India, as Told by Its Own Historians. The Muhammadan Period; by Sir H. M. Elliot; Edited by John Dowson; London Trubner Company 1867–1877] - This online Copy has been posted by: [ The Packard Humanities Institute; Persian Texts in Translation; Also find other historical books: Author List and Title List] )] In them, he vividly described the massacre at Delhi:

In a short space of time all the people in the [Delhi] fort were put to the sword, and in the course of one hour the heads of 10,000 infidels were cut off. The sword of Islam was washed in the blood of the infidels, and all the goods and effects, the treasure and the grain which for many a long year had been stored in the fort became the spoil of my soldiers. They set fire to the houses and reduced them to ashes, and they razed the buildings and the fort to the ground....All these infidel Hindus were slain, their women and children, and their property and goods became the spoil of the victors. I proclaimed throughout the camp that every man who had infidel prisoners should put them to death, and whoever neglected to do so should himself be executed and his property given to the informer. When this order became known to the ghazis of Islam, they drew their swords and put their prisoners to death.

One hundred thousand infidels, impious idolators, were on that day slain. Maulana Nasiruddin Umar, a counselor and man of learning, who, in all his life, had never killed a sparrow, now, in execution of my order, slew with his sword fifteen idolatrous Hindus, who were his captives....on the great day of battle these 100,000 prisoners could not be left with the baggage, and that it would be entirely opposed to the rules of war to set these idolaters and enemies of Islam at other course remained but that of making them all food for the sword.cite book|title=Turk-i-Taimuri|author=Taimur Lane|url=]

According to Malfuzat-i-Timuri, [ [ Volume III: To the Year A.D. 1398, Chapter: XVIII. Malfúzát-i Tímúrí, or Túzak-i Tímúrí: The Autobiography of Tímúr. Page: 389 (please press next and read all pages in the online copy)] ( [ 1. Online copy] , [ 2. Online copy] ) from: Elliot, Sir H. M., Edited by Dowson, John. The History of India, as Told by Its Own Historians. The Muhammadan Period; published by London Trubner Company 1867–1877. (Online Copy: [ The History of India, as Told by Its Own Historians. The Muhammadan Period; by Sir H. M. Elliot; Edited by John Dowson; London Trubner Company 1867–1877] - This online Copy has been posted by: [ The Packard Humanities Institute; Persian Texts in Translation; Also find other historical books: Author List and Title List] )] Timur targeted Hindus. In his own words, "Excepting the quarter of the saiyids, the 'ulama and the other Musalmans [sic] , the whole city was sacked". In his descriptions of the Loni massacre he wrote, "..Next day I gave orders that the Musalman prisoners should be separated and saved."

During the ransacking of Delhi, almost all inhabitants not killed were captured and enslaved.

Timur left Delhi in approximately January 1399. In April he had returned to his own capital beyond the Oxus (Amu Darya). Immense quantities of spoils were taken from India. According to Ruy Gonzáles de Clavijo, 90 captured elephants were employed merely to carry precious stones looted from his conquest, so as to erect a mosque at Samarkand — what historians today believe is the enormous Bibi-Khanym Mosque. Ironically, the mosque was constructed too quickly and suffered greatly from disrepair within a few decades of its construction.

Qutb-ud-din Aibak

Historical records compiled by Muslim historian Maulana Hakim Saiyid Abdul Hai attest to the iconoclasm of Qutb-ud-din Aybak. The first mosque built in Delhi, the "Quwwat al-Islam" was built after the demolission of the Hindu temple built previously by Prithvi Raj and certain parts of the temple were left outside the mosque proper.Maulana Hakim Saiyid Abdul Hai "Hindustan Islami Ahad Mein" (Hindustan under Islamic rule), Eng Trans by Maulana Abdul Hasan Nadwi] This pattern of iconoclasm was common during his reign, although an argument goes that such iconoclasm was motivated more by politics than by religion. [ [ Index_1200-1299] ,""]


Another ruler of the sultanate, Shams-ud-din Iltutmish, conquered and subjugated the Hindu pilgrimage site Varanasi in the 11th century and he continued the destruction of Hindu temples and idols that had begun during the first attack in 1194. [cite book |last= Elliot|first= Henry Miers |title= The History of India: as told by its own historians; the Muhammadan period (Excerpt from Jamiu'l-Hikayat) |publisher= University of Michigan |year= 1953]

Firuz Shah Tughlaq

Firuz Shah Tughluq was the third ruler of the Tughlaq dynasty of the Delhi Sultanate. The "Tarikh-i-Firuz Shah" is a historical record written during his reign that attests to the systematic persecution of Hindus under his rule.cite book
last = Banerjee
first = Jamini
authorlink = Jamini Mohan Bannerjee
title = History of Firuz Shah Tughluq
publisher = Munshiram Manoharlal
] In particular, it records atrocities committed against Hindu Brahmin priests who refused to convert to Islam:

Under his rule, Hindus who were forced to pay the mandatory Jizya tax were recorded as infidels, their communities monitored and, if they violated Imperial ordinances and built temples, they were destroyed. In particular, an incident in the village of Gohana in Haryana was recorded in the "Insha-i-Mahry" (another historical record written by Amud Din Abdullah bin Mahru) where Hindus had erected a deity and were arrested, brought to the palace and executed en-masse.

In 1230, the Hindu King of Orissa Anangabhima III consolidated his rule and proclaimed that an attack on Orissa constituted an attack on the king's god. A sign of Anangabhima's determination to protect Hindu culture is the fact that he named is new capital in Cuttack “Abhinava Varanasi.” His anxieties about further Muslim advances in Orissa proved to be well founded.

In the Mughal empire

The Mughal Empire was marked by periods of tolerance of non-Muslims, such as Hindus, Christians and Sikhs, as well as periods of violent oppression and persecution of those people. [ The South Asian] "Aurangzeb profile"] The reign of Aurangzeb was particularly brutal. No aspect of Aurangzeb's reign is more cited - or more controversial - than the numerous desecrations and even the destruction of Hindu temples. Aurangzeb banned Diwali, placed a "jizya" (tax) on non-Muslims and martyred the ninth Sikh guru Tegh Bahadur.

During his reign, tens of thousands of temples were desecrated: their facades and interiors were defaced and their murtis (divine images) looted. In many cases, temples were destroyed entirely; in numerous instances mosques were built on their foundations, sometimes using the same stones. Among the temples Aurangzeb destroyed were two that are most sacred to Hindus, in Varanasi and Mathura. [ Rajiv Varma] "Destruction of Hindu Temples by Aurangzeb] In both cases, he had large mosques built on the sites.

The Kesava Deo temple in Mathura, marked the place that Hindus believe was the birth place of Shri Krishna. In 1661 Aurangzeb ordered the demolition of the temple, and constructed the Katra Masjid mosque. Traces of the ancient Hindu temple can be seen from the back of the mosque. Aurangzeb also destroyed what was the most famous temple in Varanasi- the Vishwanath Temple. The temple had changed its location over the years, but in 1585 Akbar had authorized its location at Gyan Vapi. Aurangzeb ordered its demolition in 1669 and constructed a mosque on the site, whose minarets stand 71 metres above the Ganges. Traces of the old temple can be seen behind the mosque. Centuries later, emotional debate about these wanton acts of cultural desecration continues. Aurangzeb also destroyed the Somnath temple in 1706.

Hindu nationalists claim that Mughals destroyed the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, located at the birthplace of Rama, and built the Babri Masjid on the holy site, which has since been a source of tension between the Hindu and Muslim communities.

Writer Fernand Braudel wrote in "A History ofCivilizations" (Penguin 1988/1963, p.232-236), Islamic rule in India as a "colonialexperiment" was "extremely violent", and "the Muslims could not rule thecountry except by systematic terror. Cruelty was the norm – burnings,summary executions, crucifixions or impalements, inventive tortures. Hindutemples were destroyed to make way for mosques. On occasion there wereforced conversions. If ever there were an uprising, it was instantly andsavagely repressed: houses were burned, the countryside was laid waste,men were slaughtered and women were taken as slaves."

Haidar Ali and Tipu Sultan

The attitudes of Muslim ruler Tippu Sultan have been criticized as anti-Hindu. While some Marxist historians claim that he had an egalitarian attitude towards Hindus and was harsh towards them only when politically expedient, [Kate Brittlebank "Tipu Sultan’s Search for Legitimacy: Islam and Kingship in a Hindu domain" (Delhi: Oxford University Press) 1997] In the first part of his reign in particular he appears to have been notably more aggressive and religiously doctrinaire than his father, Haidar Ali. [Lewin Bowring "Haidar Ali and Tipu Sultan and the struggle with the Musalman powers of the south" (Oxford: Clarendon Press) 1893 ] There are some historianscite book
last = Valath
first = V. V. K.
authorlink =
coauthors =
editor =
others =
title = Keralathile Sthacharithrangal - Thrissur Jilla
origdate =
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accessyear = 2006
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date =
year = 1981
month =
publisher = Kerala Sahithya Academy
location =
language = Malayalam
id =
doi =
pages = 74-79
chapter =
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quote =
] who claim that Tippu Sultan was a religious persecutor of Hindus.

C. K. Kareem also notes that Tippu Sultan issued an edict for the destruction of Hindu temples in Kerala.cite book
last = Kareem
first = C.K
authorlink =
coauthors =
editor =
others =
title = Kerala Under Haidar Ali and Tipu Sultan P187
origdate =
origyear = 1973
origmonth =
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year = 1973
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publisher = Kerala History Association : distributors, Paico Pub. House
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Historian Hayavadana C. Rao wrote about Tippu in his encyclopaedic work on the History of Mysore. He asserted that Tippu's "religious fanaticism and the excesses committed in the name of religion, both in Mysore and in the provinces, stand condemned for all time. His bigotry, indeed, was so great that it precluded all ideas of toleration". He further asserts that the acts of Tippu that were constructive towards Hindus were largely political and ostentatious rather than an indication of genuine tolerance.cite book
last = Rao
first = Hayavadana C.
authorlink = Hayavadana C. Rao
title = History of Mysore 1399-1799: Incorporating the latest Epigraphical, Literary and Historical Researches Vol. 3 pgs 1047-53
publisher = Bangalore Government Press

Hindu groups revile Tipu Sultan as a bigot who massacred Hindus. [ Brittlebank "Tipu Sultan" pp1-3; Phillip B. Wagoner “Tipu Sultan's Search for Legitimacy: Islam and Kingship in a Hindu Domain by Kate Brittlebank (Review)” "The Journal of Asian Studies" Vol. 58, No. 2 (May, 1999) pp. 541-543] He was known to carry out forced conversions of Hindus and Christians. [Brittlebank "Tipu Sultan’s Search For legitimacy" p107] Request quotation|date=February 2008. According to Ramchandra Rao "Punganuri" Tipu converted 500 Hindus in Kodagu (Coorg). [ Mohibbul Hasan "The History of Tipu Sultan" (Delhi) 1971 pp362-3]

In Kashmir

The Hindu minority in Kashmir has also been historically persecuted by Muslim rulers. [ cite book |last=Firishta |first= Muhammad Qãsim Hindû Shãh |authorlink= |coauthors=John Briggs (translator) |title= Tãrîkh-i-Firishta (History of the Rise of the Mahomedan Power in India)|year=1829- 1981 Reprint |location=New Delhi ] While Hindus and Muslims lived in harmony for certain periods of time, several Muslim rulers of Kashmir were intolerant of other religions. Sultãn Sikandar Butshikan of Kashmir (AD 1389-1413) is often considered the worst of these. Historians have recorded many of his atrocities. The "Tarikh-i-Firishta" records that Sikandar persecuted the Hindus and issued orders proscribing the residency of any other than Muslims in Kashmir. He also ordered the breaking of all "golden and silver images". The Tarikh-i-Firishta further states: "Many of the Brahmins, rather than abandon their religion or their country, poisoned themselves; some emigrated from their native homes, while a few escaped the evil of banishment by becoming Mahomedans. After the emigration of the Bramins, Sikundur ordered all the temples in Kashmeer to be thrown down. Having broken all the images in Kashmeer, (Sikandar) acquired the title of ‘Destroyer of Idols’". [cite book |last=Firishta |first= Muhammad Qãsim Hindû Shãh |authorlink= |coauthors=John Briggs (translator) |title= Tãrîkh-i-Firishta (History of the Rise of the Mahomedan Power in India)|year=1829- 1981 Reprint |location=New Delhi ] The 2000 Amarnath pilgrimage massacre was another incident where 30 Hindu pilgrims were killed on route to Amarnathtemple [ [ KASHMIR SENTINEL August 16-September 15, 2000-Terrorists massacre Amarnath yatris ] ] .

During European rule of the Indian subcontinent

The Goa Inquisition, was established in 1560 by Portuguese missionaries. It was aimed primarily at Hindus and wayward new converts and by the time it was suppressed in 1774, the inquisition had had thousands of Hindus tortured and executed by burning. The British East India Company engaged in a covert and well-financed campaign of evangelical conversions in the 19th century. While officially discouraging conversions, officers of the Company routinely converted Sepoys to Christianity, often by force. This was one of the factors that led to the First Indian War of Independence. [cite book
last = Stokes
first = Eric
authorlink = Eric Stokes
title = The First Century of British Colonial Rule in India: Social Revolution or Social Stagnation?” "Past and Present"

Contemporary persecution

While the vast majority of Hindus live in Hindu-majority areas of India, Hindus in other parts of South Asia and in the diaspora have sometimes faced persecution.

In the Indian subcontinent

Hindus, like Muslims, Sikhs, and members of other religious groups, experienced severe dislocation and violence during the massive population exchanges associated with the partition of India, as members of various communities moved to what they hoped was the relative safety of an area where they would be a religious majority. Hindus were among the between 200,000 and a million who died during the rioting and other violence associated with the partition. [ [ Death toll in the partition] ]

Republic of India

Jammu and Kashmir

Kashmiri militants have engaged in attacks on Hindu pilgrims in both Kashmir and neighboring Jammu. Kashmiri militants have attacked Hindus in the region, as well as moderate Muslims suspected of siding with India. Kashmiri Pandit Hindus, who have been residents of Kashmir for centuries, have been ethnically cleansed from Kashmir by Islamic militants. [cite news | title =Atrocities on Kashmiri Hindus by Pakistan-Trained Terrorists | url = | accessdate =2006-08-26 ] [ cite web|url= |title=The Kashmiri Pandits: An Ethnic Cleansing the World Forgot |accessdate=2006-08-26 |last=Gill |first=Kanwar Pal Singh|authorlink=Kanwar Pal Singh Gill |publisher=South Asian Terrorism Portal] In particular, the Wandhama Massacre in 1998 was an incident in which 24 Kashmiri Hindus were gunned down by Islamists disguised as Indian soldiers. Many Kashmiri Hindus have been killed and thousands of children orphaned over the course of the conflict in Kashmir.


The Moplah Riots in 1921 where Muslims in Kerala, influenced by the Khilafat movement rioted in rebellion against British Raj and Hindu Jenmis, resulted in thousands of Hindu deaths and a number of forcible conversions. Parts of Kerala such as Ernad and Walluvanad were declared as Khilafat kingdoms by groups of Muslim mobs and flags of the Islamic Caliphate were flown. [cite book | title = Encyclopaedia of Political Parties: India, Pakistan, Bangladesh: National, Regional, Local | author = O P Ralhan | publisher = Anmol Publications PVT. LTD. | year = 1996 | page = 297] Annie Besant stated in her book: "They Moplahs murdered and plundered abundantly, and killed or drove away all Hindus who would not apostatise. Somewhere about a lakh (100,000) of people were driven from their homes with nothing but their clothes they had on, stripped of everything...Malabar has taught us what Islamic rule still means, and we do not want to see another specimen of the Khilafat Raj in India." [cite book
last = Besant
first = Annie
authorlink = Annie Besant
title = The Future Of Indian Politics: A Contribution To The Understanding Of Present-Day Problems P252
publisher = Kessinger Publishing, LLC
isbn = 1428626050

Northeast India

In Northeastern India, especially in Nagaland, Hindus are not able to celebrate Durga Puja and other essential festivals due to harassment and killing by Christian terrorist groups. In Tripura, [ [ Tripura Society's Website, Independent, and Authentic Information & Views About Tripura ] ] the NLFT has targeted Swamis and temples for attacks. The Baptist Church of Tripura is alleged to have supplied NLFT with arms and financial support and encouraged the murder of Hindus, particularly infants. [ cite news | first =Subhir | last =Bhaumik |title = 'Church backing Tripura rebels'| url = | publisher =BBC News |accessdate =2006-08-26 ]


The period of insurgency in Punjab around Operation Bluestar saw clashes of the Sikh militants with the police, as well as with the Hindu-Nirankari groups resulting in many Hindu deaths. In 1987, 32 Hindus were pulled out of the bus and shot, near Lalru in Punjab by Sikh militants. ["Gunment Slaughter 38 on Bus in India in Bloodiest Attack of Sikh Campaign". July 7, 1987. Page A03. The Philadelphia Inquirer.]


The HAF report documents the long history of anti-Hindu atrocities in Bangladesh, a topic that many Indians and Indian governments over the years have preferred not to acknowledge. Such atrocities, including targeted attacks against temples, open theft of Hindu property, and rape of young Hindu women and enticements to convert to Islam, have increased sharply in recent years after the Jamat-e-Islami joined the coalition government led by the Bangladesh National Party.

Bangladesh has had a troublesome history of persecution of Hindus as well. A US-based human rights organisation, Refugees International, has claimed that religious minorities, especially Hindus, still face discrimination in Bangladesh. [cite news| title =Discrimination against Bangladeshi Hindus: Refugees International | url = | publisher |date=August 9, 2003 13:19 IST | accessdate =2006-08-26] The government of Bangladesh, a nationalist party openly calls for ‘Talibanisation’ of the state.Bangladesh: The Next Afghanistan? by Hiranmay Karlekar. New Delhi: Sage, January 2006. ISBN 0-7619-3401-4] [cite web| title = The 'Talibanization' of Bangladesh | url = | publisher = The Nation |date=May 18, 2002 13:19 IST | accessdate =2007-01-28] [cite web| title = The Talibanization of Bangladesh| url = | publisher = |date=August 9, 2003 13:19 IST | accessdate =2007-01-28] However, the prospect of actually "Talibanizing" the state is regarded as a remote possibility, since Bangladeshi Islamic society is generally more progressive than the extremist Taliban of Afghanistan. Political scholars conclude that while the Islamization of Bangladesh is real, the country is not on the brink of being Talibanized. In 1971 at the time of the liberation of Bangladesh from East Pakistan, the Hindu population accounted for 15% of the total population. Thirty years on, it is now estimated at just 10.5%. [ [ U.S. Department of State: 2006 Census Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs] ] The ‘Vested Property Act’ previously named the ‘Enemy Property Act’ has seen up to 40% of Hindu land snatched away forcibly. Since this government has come into power, of all the rape crimes registered in Bangladesh, 98% have been registered by Hindu women. Hindu temples in Bangladesh have also been vandalised. [cite web|url=|title=Hindu temples|accessdate=2006-08-26 ] [ cite paper
author = Frank Pallone
title = Persecution Of Hindus In Bangladesh (article mirrored from the US Library of Congress)
url =
accessdate = 2006-08-26
] The United States Congressional Caucus on India has condemned these atrocities. [cite news| title =Congressman Pallone Condemns Persecution of Hindus in Bangladesh Following Meetings with Hindu American Foundation | url = | publisher = Hindu American Foundation|date=2004-05-20| accessdate =2006-08-26 ]

Bangladeshi feminist Taslima Nasrin's 1993 novel "Lajja" deals with the anti-Hindu riots and anti-secular sentiment in Bangladesh in the wake of the destruction of the Babri Masjid in India. The book was banned in Bangladesh, and helped draw international attention to the situation of the Bangladeshi Hindu minority.

In October 2006, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom published a report titled 'Policy Focus on Bangladesh', which said that since its last election, 'Bangladesh has experienced growing violence by religious extremists, intensifying concerns expressed by the countries religious minorities'. The report further stated that Hindus are particularly vulnerable in a period of rising violence and extremism, whether motivated by religious, political or criminal factors, or some combination. The report noted that Hindus had multiple disadvantages against them in Bangladesh, such as perceptions of dual loyalty with respect to India and religious beliefs that are not tolerated by the politically dominant Islamic Fundamentalists of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party. Violence against Hindus has taken place "in order to encourage them to flee in order to seize their property".The previous reports of the Hindu American Foundation were acknowledged and confirmed by this non-partisan report. [ Bangladesh slammed for persecution of Hindus] ,""]

On November 2, 2006, USCIRF criticized Bangladesh for its continuing persecution of minority Hindus. It also urged the Bush administration to get Dhaka to ensure protection of religious freedom and minority rights before Bangladesh's next national elections in January 2007.


There are a number of instances of persecution of Hindus in Pakistan. Minority members of the Pakistan National Assembly have alleged that Hindus were being hounded and humiliated to force them to leave Pakistan. [cite news | first =B. Murlidhar | last =Reddy | title = Hindus in Pakistan allege humiliation| url = | | publisher =The Hindu | accessdate =2006-08-26 ]

1971 Bangladesh atrocities

During the 1971 Bangladesh atrocities there were widespread killings and acts of ethnic cleansing of civilians in Bangladesh (then East Pakistan under Pakistani occupation), and widespread violations of human rights were carried out by the Pakistan Army, which was supported by political and religious militias during the Bangladesh Liberation War. In Bangladesh, the atrocities are identified as a genocide, which is disputed by Pakistan and some Pakistani, Indian and Bengali scholars. Many of the victims were Hindus, and the total death toll was in the millions.Editorial " [ The Jamaat Talks Back] "in "The Bangladesh Observer" December 30, 2005] Dr. N. Rabbee " [ Remembering a Martyr] " Star weekend Magazine, The Daily Star (Bangladesh) December 16, 2005] TIME magazine reported that "The Hindus, who account for three-fourths of the refugees and a majority of the dead, have borne the brunt of the Muslim military's hatred." [ [,8816,878408,00.html Pakistan: The Ravaging of Golden Bengal] ,"Time Magazine"]

Masih incident

On June 29, 2005, police in Nowshera, NWFP, arrested Christian janitor Yousaf Masih on blasphemy charges. Witnesses claimed Masih had burned pages of the Qur'an while disposing of trash for his employer. Following his arrest, a mob of between 300 and 500 protesters destroyed a Hindu temple and houses belonging to Christian and Hindu families in the city. While police arrested some perpetrators after the fact, under the terms of a deal negotiated between Islamic religious leaders and the Hindu/Christian communities, police released all of them without charge. Police released Masih from custody on bail on August 6, 2005. [ US Department of State International Religious Freedom Report 2006] ]

Forced Conversions

Hindu women have also been known to be victims of kidnapping and forced conversion to Islam. [ cite news | first =Syed | last =Anwar| title =State of minorities | url = | accessdate = 2006-08-18] Krishan Bheel, a Hindu member of the National Assembly of Pakistan, came into the news recently for manhandling Qari Gul Rehman after being taunted with a religious insult. [cite web|url= |title= Opp MNAs fight in PM’s presence|accessdate= 2006-08-23]

On October 18, 2005, Sanno Amra and Champa, a Hindu couple residing in the Punjab Colony, Karachi, Sindh returned home to find that their three teenage daughters had disappeared. After inquiries to the local police, the couple discovered that their daughters had been taken to a local madrassah, had been converted to Islam, and were denied unsupervised contact with their parents.

Temple Destruction

Several Hindu temples have been destroyed in Pakistan. A notable incident was the destruction of the Ramna Kali Mandir in former East Pakistan. The temple was bulldozed by the Pakistan Army on March 27, 1971.The Dhakeshwari Temple was severely damaged during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, and over half of the temple's buildings were destroyed. In a major disrespect of the religion, the main worship hall was taken over by the Pakistan Army and used as an ammunitions storage area. Several of the temple custodians were tortured and killed by the Army though most, including the Head Priest, fled first to their ancestral villages and then to India and therefore escaped death.

In 2006, the last Hindu temple in Lahore was destroyed to pave the way for construction of a multi-storied commercial building. The temple was demolished after officials of the Evacuee Property Trust Board concealed facts from the board chairman about the nature of the building. When reporters from Pakistan-based newspaper Dawn tried to cover the incident, they were accosted by the henchmen of the property developer, who denied that a Hindu temple existed at the site. [ [ Another temple is no more] ,"Dawn"]

Several political parties in Pakistan have objected to this move, such as the Pakistan People's party and the Pakistani Muslim League-N. [ [ Hindu temple in Lahore demolished] ,""] [ [ Only Hindu Temple in Lahore demolished] ,"Times of India"] The move has also evoked strong condemnation in India from minority bodies and political parties, including the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Congress Party, as well as Muslim advocacy political parties such as the All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat. [ [ India protests demolition of Hindu temple in Pak] ,"Times of India"] A firm of lawyers representing the Hindu minority has approached the Lahore High Court seeking a directive to the builders to stop the construction of the commercial plaza and reconstruct the temple at the site. The petitioners maintain that the demolition violates section 295 of the Pakistan Penal Code prohibiting the demolition of places of worship. [ [ Order for temple's reconstruction sought] ,"Gulf News"]

In other countries


During the Taliban regime, Sumptuary laws were passed in 2001 which forced Hindus to wear yellow badges in public to identify themselves as such. This has been compared to Adolf Hitler's treatment of Jews in Nazi Germany during World War II. [ [ US Lawmakers Condemn Taliban Treatment Of Hindus] ,T.C. Malhotra] [ [ US lawmakers say: We are HindusAziz Haniffa] ] Hindu women were forced to dress according to Islamic hijab, ostensibly a measure to "protect" them from harassment. This was part of the Taliban's plan to segregate "un-Islamic" and "idolatrous" communities from Islamic ones. [ [ Taliban to mark Afghan Hindus] ,"CNN"] In addition, Hindus were forced to mark their places of residence identifying them as Hindu homes.

The decree was condemned by the Indian and United States governments as a violation of religious freedom. [ [ India deplores Taleban decree against Hindus] ] Widespread protests against the Taliban regime broke out in Bhopal,India. In the United States, chairman of the Anti-Defamation League Abraham Foxman compared the decree to the practices of Nazi Germany, where Jews were required to wear labels identifying them as such. [ [ Taliban: Hindus Must Wear Identity Labels] ,"People's Daily"] The comparison was also drawn by California Democrat and holocaust survivor Tom Lantos, and New York Democrat and author of the bipartisan 'Sense of the Congress' non-binding resolution against the anti-Hindu decree Eliot L Engel. [ [ US lawmakers say: We are Hindus] ,""] In the United States, congressmen and several lawmakers. [ [ US lawmakers say: We are Hindus] ,""] wore yellow badges on the floor of the Senate during the debate as a demonstration of their solidarity with the Hindu minority in Afghanistan. [ US Lawmakers Condemn Taliban Treatment Of Hindus] ,""]

Indian analyst Rahul Banerjee said that this was not the first time that Hindus have been singled out for state-sponsored oppression in Afghanistan. Violence against Hindus has caused a rapid depletion in the Hindu population over the years. Since the 1990s many Afghan Hindus have fled the country, seeking asylum in countries such as Germany. [ [ Immigrant Hinduism in Germany: Tamils from Sri Lanka and Their Temples] ,""]


In 1991-92, Bhutan expelled roughly 100,000 ethnic Nepalis (Lhotshampa), most of whom have been living in seven refugee camps in eastern Nepal ever since. The Lhotshampa are generally classified as Hindus. [ [,463af2212,469f2cba2,469f386a1e,0.html UNHCR | Refworld | Chronology for Lhotshampas in Bhutan] ] In March 2008, this population began a multiyear resettlement to third countries including the U.S., Canada, New Zealand, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands and Australia. [ [ NEPAL-BHUTAN: Bhutan questions identity of 107,000 refugees in Nepal] ] At present, the United States is working towards resettling more than 60,000 of these refugees in the US as third country settlement programme. [cite news | url = | title = Bhutan refugees are 'intimidated' | author = Bhaumik, Subir | date = November 7, 2007 | work = BBC News | accessdate = 2008-04-25]


In 2005 and 2006 Kazakh officials persistently and repeatedly tried to close down the Hare Krishna farming community near Almaty.

On November 20, 2006, three buses full of riot police, two ambulances, two empty lorries, and executors of the Karasai district arrived at the community in sub-zero weather and evicted the Hare Krishna followers from thirteen homes, which the police proceeded to demolish.

The Forum 18 News Service reported, "Riot police who took part in the destruction threw the personal belongings of the Hare Krishna devotees into the snow, and many devotees were left without clothes. Power for lighting and heating systems had been cut off before the demolition began. Furniture and larger household belongings were loaded onto trucks. Officials said these possessions would be destroyed. Two men who tried to prevent the bailiffs from entering a house to destroy it were seized by 15 police officers who twisted their hands and took them away to the police car." [ cite news |title = KAZAKHSTAN: State bulldozes Hare Krishna commune, bids to chair OSCE | url = | publisher = Forum 18 News Service | accessdate =2007-01-24 ]

The Hare Krishna community had been promised that no action would be taken before the report of a state commission – supposedly set up to resolve the dispute – was made public. On the day the demolition began, the commission's chairman, Amanbek Mukhashev, told Forum 18, "I know nothing about the demolition of the Hare Krishna homes – I'm on holiday." He added, "As soon as I return to work at the beginning of December we will officially announce the results of the Commission's investigation." Other officials also refused to comment.

The United States urged Kazakhstan's authorities to end what it called an "aggressive" campaign against the country's tiny Hare Krishna community. [ cite news |title = U.S. Embassy urges Kazakh authorities to end harassment of Hare Krishna | url = | publisher = International Herald Tribune | accessdate =2007-01-24 ]


Approximately nine percent of the population of Malaysia are Tamil Indians, of whom nearly 90 percent are practicing Hindus. Indian settlers came to Malaysia from Tamil Nadu in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Between April to May 2006, several Hindu temples were demolished by city hall authorities in the country, accompanied by violence against Hindus. [ [ Temple row - a dab of sensibility please] ,""] On April 21, 2006, the Malaimel Sri Selva Kaliamman Temple in Kuala Lumpur was reduced to rubble after the city hall sent in bulldozers. [ [ Muslims Destroy Century-Old Hindu Temple,""] ]

The president of the Consumers Association of Subang and Shah Alam in Selangor State has been helping to organise efforts to stop the local authorities in the Muslim dominated city of Shah Alam from demolishing a 107-year-old Hindu temple. The growing Islamization in Malaysia is a cause for concern to many Malaysians who follow minority religions such as Hinduism. [ [ Pressure on multi-faith Malaysia] ,"BBC"] On May 11, 2006, armed city hall officers from Kuala Lumpur forcefully demolished part of a 60-year-old suburban temple that serves more than 1,000 Hindus. The "Hindu Rights Action Force", a coalition of several NGO's, have protested these demolitions by lodging complaints with the Malaysian Prime Minister. Many Hindu advocacy groups have protested what they allege is a systematic plan of temple cleansing in Malaysia. The official reason given by the Malaysian government has been that the temples were built "illegally". However, several of the temples are centuries old. [ Hindu group protests 'temple cleansing' in Malaysia] ,"Financial Express"] On average, a Hindu temple is demolished in Malaysia once every three weeks. [ [ Malaysia ethnic Indians in uphill fight on religion] Reuters India - November 8, 2007]

audi Arabia

On March 24, Saudi authorities destroyed religious items found in a raid on a makeshift Hindu shrine found in an apartment in Riyadh. [Marshall, Paul. " [ Saudi Arabia's Religious Police Crack Down] ". Freedom House]


Hindus in Fiji constitute approximately 38% of the population. During the late 1990s there were several riots against Hindus by radical elements in Fiji. In the Spring of 2000, the democratically elected Fijian government led by Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudhry was held hostage by a guerilla group, headed by George Speight. They were demanding a segregated state exclusively for the native Fijians, thereby legally abolishing any rights the Hindu inhabitants have now. The majority of Fijian land is reserved for the ethnically Fijian community. [cite book | title = From Election to Coup in Fiji: The 2006 Campaign and Its Aftermath | author = Jonathan Fraenkel, Stewart Firth | publisher = ANU E Press | year = 2007 | page = 306] Since the practitioners of Hindu faith are predominantly Indians, racist attacks by the extremist Fijian Nationalists too often culminated into violence against the institutions of Hinduism. According to official reports, attacks on Hindu institutions increased by 14% compared to 2004. Hindus and Hinduism, being labeled the “outside others,” especially in the aftermath of the May 2000 coup, have been victimized by Fijian fundamentalist and nationalists who wish to create a theocratic Christian state in Fiji. This intolerance of Hindus has found expression in anti-Hindu speeches and destruction of temples, the two most common forms of immediate and direct violence against Hindus. Between 2001 and April 2005, one hundred cases of temple attacks have been registered with the police. The alarming increase of temple destruction has spread fear and intimidation among the Hindu minorities and has hastened immigration to neighboring Australia and New Zealand. organized religious institutions, such as the Methodist Church of Fiji, have repeatedly called for the creation of a theocratic Christian State and have propagated anti-Hindu sentiment [ [ Hindus in South Asia and the Diaspora: A Survey of Human Rights 2005 ] ] .

The Methodist church of Fiji repeatedly calls for the creation of a Christian State since a coup d'etat in 1987 [cite book | title = From Election to Coup in Fiji: The 2006 Campaign and Its Aftermath | author = Jonathan Fraenkel, Stewart Firth | publisher = ANU E Press | year = 2007 | page = 306] [ [ Roots of Land and Church: the Christian State Debate in Fiji - International journal for the Study of the Christian Church ] ] and has stated that those who are not Christian should be "tolerated as long as they obey Christian law".

The Methodist Church of Fiji specifically objects to the constitutional protection of minority religious communities such as Hindus and Muslims. State favoritism of Christianity, and systematic attacks on temples, are some of the greatest threats faced by Fijian Hindus. Despite the creation of a human rights commission, the plight of Hindus in Fiji continues to be precarious [ [ Hindus in South Asia and the Diaspora: A Survey of Human Rights 2005 ] ] .


During the initial decades of Indian indenture, Indian cultural forms were met with either contempt or indifference by the Christian majority.Singh, Sherry-Ann, Hinduism and the State in Trinidad,Inter-Asia Cultural Studies, Volume 6, Number 3, September 2005, pp. 353-365(13)] Hindus have made many contributions to Trinidad history and culture even though the state historically regarded Hindus as second class citizens.Hindus in Trinidad struggled over the granting of adult franchise, the Hindu marriage bill, the divorce bill, cremation ordinance, and others.After Trinidad's independence from colonial rule, Hindus were marginalized by the African based People's National Movement. The opposing party, the People's Democratic party, was portrayed as a "Hindu group", and Hindus were castigated as a "recalcitrant and hostile minority". The displacement of PNM from power in 1985 would improve the situation.

Intensified protests over the course of the 1980s led to an improvement in the state's attitudes towards Hindus.The divergence of some of the fundamental aspects of local Hindu culture, the segregation of the Hindu community from Trinidad, and the disinclination to risk erasing the more fundamental aspects of what had been constructed as "Trinidad Hinduism" inwhich the identity of the group had been rooted, would often generate dissension when certain dimensions of Hindu culture came into contact with the State. While the incongruences continue to generate debate, and often conflict, it is now tempered with growing awareness and consideration on the part of the state to the Hindu minority. Hindus have been also been subjected to persistent proselytization by Christian missionaries [ [ International Religious Freedom Report 2002: Trinidad and Tobago ] ] .Specifically the evangelical and Pentecostal Christians. Such activities reflect racial tensions that at times arise between the Christianized Afro-Trinidadian and Hindu Indo-Trinidadian communities [ [ International Religious Freedom Report 2002: Trinidad and Tobago ] ] .


* [ Memoir of the Emperor Timur (Malfuzat-i Timuri)] Timur's memoirs on his invasion of India; describes in detail the massacre of Hindus, forced conversions to Islam and the plunder of the wealth of Hindustan (India). Compiled in the book: "The History of India, as Told by Its Own Historians. The Muhammadan Period", by Sir H. M. Elliot, Edited by John Dowson; London, Trubner Company; 1867–1877

ee also

* Anti-Hinduism
* Negationism in India - Concealing the Record of Islam
* Hindu Temples - What Happened to Them
*Hinduism in Iran
* Anti-Brahmanism
* Muslim League Attack on Sikhs and Hindus in the Punjab 1947
* Expulsion of Indians from Burma in 1962
* Zanzibar Revolution
* Expulsion of Asians in Uganda in 1972
* Persecution of Jews
* Persecution of Christians
* Persecution of Muslims
* Persecution of Roman religion
* Persecution of Ancient Greek religion
* Persecution of Heathens

External links

* [ Human Rights Congress for Bangladesh Minorities]
* [ The Hindu Minority in Bangladesh]
* [ Attacks on the Hindu Minority in Bangladesh] - Amnesty International
* [ Atrocities on Hindus catch US Congressmen's attention] - United States Commission on Religious Freedom
* [ Row over Krishna temple in Moscow]

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