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  • » 11/22/2006, 00.00

    INDIA

    Jammu: Christian convert killed by Islamic militants

    Nirmala Carvalho

    Bashir Ahmad Tantray left  Islam around 10 years ago. Very active in social projects and evangelization, he was murdered by two strangers in broad daylight.

    Srinagar (AsiaNews) – Two Muslim fundamentalists have killed a Christian who converted from Islam around 10 years ago. Bashir Ahmad Tantray was murdered in broad daylight as he chatted with Muslim friends in his village, Mamoosa, in Baramulla district. He leaves behind a wife and four children, two girls and two boys.

    Ghulam Rasool Tantray, his cousin, said: "Two militants enquired about the public transport system. As soon as my cousin finished talking, they killed him." The two militants fled the scene on their motorbike.

    After his conversion, Bashir dedicated himself enthusiastically to social projects and to evangelization in the area with an evangelical group. Shortly after he changed his religion, he had received threats against his life and escaped from his village, returning years later.

    It is the first time that a Christian convert has been murdered in the northern state, although violence against local Christians has been on the rise for some time. Around two years ago, some Muslim militants threw grenades at the missionary school of Pulwama, while last July, a car bomb damaged another Christian school.

    Sajan George, President of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), said:

    "He is a martyr for the faith and we can only pray that his blood may be a seed for evangelization. There is a palpable sense of fear among the people now but we will seek justice for Bashir's death."

    The victim did not have a Christian burial: for fear of further violence, he was buried according to Muslim rites near his home.

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    See also

    15/11/2008 INDIA
    50,000 Hindu fundamentalists demonstrate in favor of religious intolerance
    The government of Orissa permits a march calling for "an end to the conversions." Meanwhile, in Bangalore, three Christians are arrested under the false accusation of inducing conversion. The AICC provides updated figures on anti-Christian violence.

    08/04/2009 INDIA
    Thousands converting back to Hinduism: truth, or propaganda?
    In Kalyan, in Maharashtra, Hindus are celebrating the "reconversion" of 1,130 families. The guru Narendra Maharaj urges the faithful not to be corrupted by the Christian missionaries, and calls on them to vote for the parties that defend the Hindu community. Bishop Fernandez: Christians must continue to spread the message of love, and the values of the Gospel.

    03/11/2008 INDIA
    Bishop of Orissa: We are being persecuted like the first Christians
    Raphael Cheenath, archbishop of Bhubaneshwar, comments to AsiaNews on the first pastoral letter of the bishops of Orissa following the violence that began at the end of August. The text calls for justice regarding all of the destruction, but also thanks many citizens and Indian and international organizations for their collaboration.

    22/06/2009 BANGLADESH
    The daughter converts to Christianity, Muslims marginalize the family
    The relatives of the young woman, who lives in the United States, speak of a "wrong" choice and demand an end to bullying. The woman risks a fatwa for apostasy, her husband seeks a divorce. Solidarity from Catholics activists who denounce the violation of religious freedom.

    19/03/2009 INDIA
    Radical Hindu leader killed. Tension in Orissa
    Prabhat Panigrahi had been arrested for involvement in the attacks against Christians. In the district of Kandhamal, there are fears of a new wave of violence. Meanwhile, Christians are being marginalized: they may return to their villages only if they convert to Hinduism.



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