07/11/2011, 00.00
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Andhra Pradesh, Pentecostal pastor stabbed. GCIC: The state is "complicit"

by Nirmala Carvalho
Four Hindu radicals accused him of forcible conversions. For Sajan K George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), the attack is a "crying shame" for a secular state like India. Even in Karnataka and Orissa there is no peace for Christians.
Hyderabad (AsiaNews) - "It's really a crying shame that the Christian minority has no freedom of religion in a country like India where the Constitution guarantees the right to practice and preach their faith”, says Sajan K George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC) who condemns the latest attack against a Christian. On 3 July, four radical Hindus attacked the Pentecostal pastor GN Paul (see photo) near the village of Munugodu (Nalgonda district, Andhra Pradesh) while he was returning from Sunday services, accusing them of forced conversions. The man suffered serious wounds to the abdomen and head, but is now out of danger. Three times before the attack, some Hindus had ordered the pastor to cease all evangelization activities. Munugodu police registered the case, but no one was arrested.

On 3 July, the pastor of Independent Baptist Church, was returning home after the church service attended by about 20 families. Suddenly, four radical Hindus apprehended him and stabbed him. Witnesses at the scene called an ambulance, which brought the Pastor to the Government Hospital in Nalgonda. Two days later, Fr. Paul was transferred Osmania Government Hospital in Hyderabad, where he underwent an operation and currently continues his hospital stay.

According to Sajan George, the state is partly complicit in the violence against Christians: "The fundamentalists are encouraged by the failure of law enforcement and lack of will in ensuring justice to innocent Christians, victims of persecution."

Throughout India, in fact, justice for the victims of fundamentalism is slow in coming. "In Kandhamal, there are still 50 thousand Christians displaced - says the president of the GCIC - waiting to return to their homes after the pogroms of 2008." Sajan George then recalls the situation in Karnataka, where "the judge BK Somasekhara report exonerated members of the Sangh Parivar and the BJP, against all evidence (see AsiaNews,"Fasting and sit-ins, bishops and faithful reject false report on Karnataka violence ")".

Photo: www.persecution.in

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