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    » 02/03/2014, 00.00

    INDIA

    Andhra Pradesh: rising anti-Christian violence by radical Hindus

    Nirmala Carvalho

    Sajan George, national president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), sounds the alarm bells. Fundamentalist group Hindu Vahini is of particular concern. In mid-January, one of its members stabbed to death an evangelical clergyman. According to the GCIC leader, anti-Christian violence is likely to become "more brutal" as India's general elections approach.

    Mumbai (AsiaNews) - "Attacks against Christian clergymen in Andhra Pradesh are on the rise and a source of concern," said Sajan George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC). "These acts of violence are unmotivated. With the excuse of 'stopping conversions,' they target this community," he told AsiaNews

    For the Christian leader, both state and the Union governments, as well as the National Commission for Human Rights should monitor Hindu Vahini, a Hindu fundamentalist group, which has been responsible for several attacks in recent months.

    On 20 January, police in the Indian state arrested three of its members, thought to be responsible for the murder of an evangelical pastor in Nalgonda, Rev Sanjeevulu.

    In recent weeks, extremists also attacked other Protestant leaders. In January, Rev Christopher Talla was assaulted in the village of Munugode, and Rev Gajjala Neeladri Pal suffered the same fate in Ipparthi.

    In December 2013, a group of extremists attacked a Baptist church in Narketpally, accusing without any evidence its pastor, Rev Nama Moses, of conducting forced conversions.

    "Immediate action is needed," said Sajan George, "especially in view of the general elections. These groups could conduct even more brutal attacks against Christian communities in order to polarise Hindu voters. Such unprovoked attacks threaten India's moral authority and secular nature."

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    See also

    26/09/2008 INDIA
    Kandhamal (Orissa): man killed, dozens of Christians' homes burned
    The police have sent an additional 700 officers, but the violence continues. Interior minister: the attacks against the Christians are "systematic". It is feared that the violence is also motivated by the upcoming elections, and could last until May of 2009.

    25/01/2010 INDIA
    Two churches attacked in the State of Karnataka
    Hindu extremists are blamed for this morning’s attacks in the dioceses of Mysore and Karwar. The Holy Family Parish Church was attacked in Inkal (Mysore diocese); it had been also attacked by a group of 70 Hindus in 2002. Christians are increasingly worried.

    15/06/2010 INDIA
    Communal violence legislation, a matter “of life and death” for millions of Indians
    India’s federal Home Affairs minister is seeking quick approval for the Communal Violence Bill, which will impose harsher penalties on those guilty of stoking inter-religious conflict. However, Fr C. Prakash, a front-line minority rights advocate, opposes the draft proposal because it does not prevent collusion between politicians and police in communal crimes.

    26/11/2012 INDIA
    Karnataka: 39 anti-Christian attacks in 2012
    The information came from the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC). The latest episodes were reported last Friday. A group of Muslim radicals were responsible for an attack in Bellary District; members of the Hindu nationalist Bajrang Dal struck in Kolar District. "Fears in Karnataka have been reignited," GCIC head said.

    16/09/2008 INDIA
    More anti-Christian violence in Orissa; school attacked in Kerala
    A Christian has been killed and dozens of homes have been burned. Police are clashing with Hindu militants. The tension is spreading in Kerala, and remains high in Karnataka, where the government is accused of conniving with the fundamentalists.



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