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  • » 12/02/2006, 00.00

    INDIA

    At least 200 attacks against Christians in 2006

    Nirmala Carvalho

    The attacks were denounced by the Global Council of Indian Christians, which held a rally today in Bangalore to call for respect of religious freedom in the country. The council supplied a list of attacks against Christians, who are targeted by Hindu and Muslim fundamentalists.

    Bangalore (AsiaNews) – Christians in India suffered at least 200 attacks between January and November this year. Incidents range from profaning places of worship to the murder of representatives of this minority community. The charge was made by the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), which this morning organized a peaceful gathering to raise awareness about the situation and to pray for an end to abuses of human rights, especially religious freedom, in the Union.

    In a press statement, the organizers outlined the reasons for the gathering and emphasized a worrying increase in attacks in the state of Karnataka. Here, most victims have been Dalits – outcastes – and tribals, mostly of violence perpetrated by an organization of Hindu fundamentalists, the Sangh Parivar. However, Muslim fundamentalists are also responsible for their share of attacks.

    The GCIC drew attention to one of the latest examples of such violence: the cold blooded murder of Bashir Tantray, one of its social workers in Srinagar. The man was killed at the end of November by Muslim extremists who had threatened him on previous occasions. In a final gesture of contempt, he was buried in a Muslim cemetery. The council urged the police to carry out an in-depth investigation into his murder.

    In the statement, the council listed a long list of attacks suffered by Christians, including:

    -         26 November, murder of a Christian, Jacob, in Myelapore

    -         9 June, murder of Pastor Prem Kumar in Nizamababad

    -         Attempts to forcibly convert Christians to Hinduism in Orissa and Karnataka

    -         Attack on Carmelite Church in Bangalore

    -         Attacks on St Anthony School in Bangalore

    -         7 May, assassination attempt against Pastor Paul Joseph

    -         16 September, Pastor Job Gowribiddanur attacked

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    See also

    14/06/2005 INDIA
    Christian shrine desecrated
    Fundamentalists had not yet targeted the area, but our answer to violence will be fasting and prayers, says Bishop of Jabalpur.

    07/06/2005 INDIA
    Authorities to tear down 109 homes belonging to Christian Tribals in Orissa
    A Hindu fundamentalist group is behind the measure. "Fundamentalists are continuously plotting schemes to instil terror in the minds of these poor folks," says Bishop Bilung. With the monsoons on their way, evicted Tribals do not have time to find shelter.

    20/10/2004 INDIA
    A Hindu al-Qaeda, religious fundamentalism as a political tool

    We want the government to condemn fanatical organisations and provide minorities much needed legal protection, Catholic leader John Dayal says.



    13/06/2006 INDIA
    Rajasthan nationalists present anti-conversion bill again

    The bill had been sent back to Parliament without the governor's signature; she asked that it be submitted to the President's attention, because "it seems to affect people's fundamental right of religious freedom". The bishop of Jaipur told AsiaNews: "We pray that God may enlighten those who must decide about such an act."



    20/05/2006 INDIA
    Rajasthan governor refuses to sign anti-conversion bill

    The State's religious minorities have welcomed the decision with "joy and gratitude", but Nationalist Hindus say: "She was obliged to sign the decree; this is an insult to democracy".





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