Following public outcry, Jyoti apologized, saying, "If my speech hurt anyone, I take back my words." Modi reportedly told members of parliament that he "disapproved of such language," but resisted calls to sack the minister.
Later the same month, about 250 poor Muslims in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh complained that Hindu groups had tricked them into a conversion ceremony with promises of cheap government rations and voter identity cards.
Christians, who comprise only about 2.3 percent (28 million) of the population, say attacks on churches have increased since Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) swept national elections last May.
Though hate groups have targeted Indian Christians in the past, some experts say the BJP’s victory has bolstered their activities.
Radical Hindus spread the rumor that Christians were responsible for Saraswati’s murder, though non-Christian Maoists claimed to have killed him.
The Hindu radicals went on a rampage, destroying 300 churches and 6,000 homes, and displacing at least 50,000 people for months.
Manmohan Singh, the prime minister, has urged all politicians to "preserve and promote" India's "unique confluence of cultures" and end the communal violence."We need to meet today's mindless violence with the requisite amount of force, but must also ensure that this is tempered by reason and justice which is the normal order of governance," he said.
"There seems to be a larger conspiracy behind the attack on Christians and that needs to be investigated," said Sajan George, the GCIC president.
He added that all Christian organisations had condemned the killing of the Hindu leader, Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati, on Aug 23.
They had been "totally dismayed" by the resulting onslaught against Christians, which is continuing in Orissa.
Tens of thousands of Christians are still living in refugee camps across Orissa.