India’s Hindu, Muslim and Christian communities have clashed for centuries over issues of gender equality and gender norms, and a new survey shows that the latest round of violence between the two communities is escalating.
India’s Hindu community has been rocked by several deadly attacks in recent years, including a massacre at a school in Kolkata in March.
The latest incident took place on a Saturday and left four dead and 15 wounded, including six children, in the city’s Hindu-majority north.
In June, an 11-year-old boy died and another three were seriously injured in the state of Kerala when a man threw acid on a school playground.
The attacks sparked protests across the country.
India has a long history of sectarian violence, but the latest violence has been particularly shocking in the country’s north where Muslims and Hindus live together in a majority-Christian state.
The survey of 2,200 people by the Pew Research Center found that India’s religious minorities, such as Christians, Hindus and Muslims, have historically faced greater discrimination and marginalization than their secular counterparts.
The survey found that Christians and Muslims have experienced a marked increase in violence in recent decades, with the largest increase in the past two years.
The number of Christians and Hindus who were killed by mobs rose from 3.2 million in 2006 to 6.7 million in 2014, the survey said.
A majority of the deaths were related to Hindu-Muslim conflict, with a majority of Christians dying from self-immolation.
The Hindu and Muslim communities have also experienced rising levels of anti-Muslim sentiment.
A survey in 2012 by the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime found that anti-Semitism was on the rise in India, where there were nearly three times as many anti-Semitic hate crimes as anti-Jewish hate crimes.
The Pew report said the uptick in anti-Semites is due in part to a rise in media coverage and online hate speech.
India has witnessed an increase in anti, anti-Islamic and anti-Buddhist sentiments since a series of violent attacks in July.
A video surfaced on social media in which a Buddhist monk attacked a woman, allegedly to punish her for converting to Christianity.
In another case, a Buddhist woman was beaten to death in a park in Uttar Pradesh.
Last month, Hindu pilgrims burned effigies of the Prophet Muhammad on the holy Kaaba in Mecca, the third-holiest site in Islam.
The Pew report also said that anti and antiBuddhism are on the increase in Muslim-majority Pakistan, where an anti-Islam video surfaced last year and more than 50 people were killed in a mob attack.
The video showed a young Muslim man insulting a Christian woman and her father.
Pakistan’s Hindu and Christian minorities have been targeted by extremists in the recent past.
In 2016, Hindu extremists attacked two Hindu men in a mosque in the northwestern city of Peshawar and burned their effigys, killing two of the men.
In 2015, a Muslim man was shot dead by an angry mob after he accused a Christian couple of adultery.
In April, a Hindu couple in Delhi were attacked and killed by a group of Muslim men, with police alleging the attack was a reprisal for a video in which two women mocked the Prophet Mohammed.
A Hindu extremist group also claimed responsibility for the attack, claiming the attack had been motivated by blasphemy against the Prophet Mohammad.
The latest violence between Muslims and Christians has been exacerbated by the rise of Islamist groups such as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), which has been expanding its influence in Iraq and Syria.
A recent report by the World Health Organization estimated that the extremist group has been responsible for over 1,000 mass killings in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan.
The UN Security Council is expected to discuss the ISIL-related attacks during a meeting on Tuesday.