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Christianity in South and Central Asia$
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Kenneth R. Ross, Daniel Jeyaraj, and Todd M. Johnson

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781474439824

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474439824.001.0001

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Social and Political Context

Social and Political Context

(p.339) Social and Political Context
Christianity in South and Central Asia

Cedric Prakash SJ

Edinburgh University Press

Christianity in the region is under siege by fundamentalists from other religions who consider it a threat to their (often unjust and exploitative) way of life; by governments that are in nexus with these forces and by theocratic states in which the ‘other’ religion is seen as ‘alien’. While Christians have played prominent roles in India, anti-conversion laws in the country have been used by those who harbour ill-will towards the religious minorities, particularly Christians, to constantly discriminate against them and attack both their intentions and their actions. Attacks on Christians have been on the increase since 2014. In Bangladesh, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran and countries of Central Asia, Christians experience systematic persecution (and even martyrdom) and, with rare exceptions, it is not easy for Christians to freely profess, practise and propagate their faith. In Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan have a Muslim majority, but unlike in several other Muslim countries, freedom of religion is guaranteed in their constitutions, though the actual implementation leaves much to be desired. Christians in South and Central Asia are involved in inter-religious dialogue and doing their best to engage with majority communities in countries where Christianity does not have much of a bearing.

Keywords:   Christianity, Religion, Fundamentalism, Persecution, Islam, Interreligious

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