India election gets underway with hopes for protection for religious minorities

RELIGIONS NEWS AGENCY (REDNA) – India goes to the polls today in an election involving a population of 1.4 billion which will take six weeks to complete.

India is one of the most diverse religious countries with 966 million Hindus, 172 million Muslims, 28 million Christians, 20 million Sikhs, 8 million Buddhists and 4.5 million Jains.

This is while concerns at religious tension raised there, tens of thousands of Sikhs killed in Amritsar in 1984, tens of thousands of Muslims killed in riots in Ayodhya, a Hindu temple built on the site of a razed mosque and Christians persecuted in Manipur.

Also, there have been occasions when some European governments including England has raised concerns about religious tolerance and freedom of religious belief in India, and that should continue.

The Christian charity Open Doors is appealing for peaceful, violence-free campaigning and hopes that an incoming government will serve the best interests of every citizen, including religious minorities.

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