» 02/02/2012, 00.00
Anti-Christian violence is “too much” after a pastor is attacked and a cemetery is desecrated
In Chhattisgarh, Hindu extremists seriously injure a Pentecostal clergyman for screening a Jesus movie. In Gujarat, someone destroys tombs in a Christian cemetery. For Global Council of Indian Christian President Sajan George, “there is no respect” for the Christian community.
Mumbai (AsiaNews) – “Repeated attacks against India’s Christian community are too much. There is no respect,” said Sajan K George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), after more anti-Christian attacks occurred in late January in two different Indian states. In Chhattisgarh, a group of ultranationalist Hindu extremists attacked and seriously wounded a Pentecostal clergyman after accusing him of forced conversions. In Gujarat, someone desecrated a monumental Christian cemetery.
On Tuesday, nine activists from the Bajrang Dal, the youth wing of the Hindu ultranationalist Sangh Parivar, stormed the private home of Rev Rajendra Masih. The latter had screened a Hindi movie about Jesus, Dava Sagar, outside of the house.
After breaking his equipment, they beat and insult him and those present. The violence lasted for more than an hour. Rev Masih reported injuries to the face, particularly to his left eye.
At the end of their action, the attackers filed a complaint against the clergyman for proselytising and forced conversions.
On 26 January, unidentified people destroyed a number of tombs in the monumental Christian cemetery in Sabarmati, using a bulldozer.
According to local sources, Chanchalben Parmar, a local councillor with ultranationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, had incited them.
“When we reached the cemetery, cars were parked in the area where tombs used to be,” said Martin Hector Harris of the Methodist Church in Dharamnagar. “We also saw the desecrators pile mud from the tombstones on a nearby sidewalk. Police has not arrested anyone yet or even started an investigation.”
“The cemetery was opened in 1947, when the railways donated the land,” Harris explained. “Since then, seven Christian Churches have used it to bury their dead in the place.”
“Chanchalben Parmar, her husband and local officials are directly responsible for what has happened. It was their moral duty to protect all believers and their places of worship,” he added.
Gujarat, sit-in against destruction of Catholic cemetery
The land where local Catholics have been laid to rest, in use since 1998, has increased in value. Some industries, in connivance with the government, are plundering it. Six tombs have been destroyed.
Hindu nationalists attack three Christian communities
All the incidents took place in West Bengal, Delhi and Madhya Pradesh in the last week. In all cases, police arrested the victims, not the attackers. For the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC) president, Lent, Advent and Christmas are when minority Christians suffer the most.
Orissa: violence continues, another Christian killed
Hrudayananda Nayak, 40, disappeared Wednesday evening. His lifeless body was found in the forest near the village of Rudangia whose residents are predominantly Christian. Eyewitnesses say that a group of Hindu extremists stopped him on his way home. This is the third murder since October after widespread anti-Christian violence in August and September of last year.
Rajasthan: Hindu extremists attack Christian family, tell them to convert or be killed
With their faces disguised, four ultra-nationalists attack the mother of a Pentecostal pastor, beating and seriously injuring her. The group was looking for her son and his wife, who were not at home at the time of the incident. For the president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), "The closer we get to the general election, the greater the intolerance of radical Hindus towards Christians."
Indian history books to feature black pages of massacres
From next year, school textbooks will present the problematic aspects of Indian integration: the massacres of Gujarat, of Ayodhya, and anti-Sikh clashes. Christians are enthusiastic about the idea.
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul": A Christmas gift to survive winter
As Iraqi troops advance in the Nineveh Plain and Mosul, a new wave of refugees could overshadow the fate of other refugees who found hospitality in Kurdistan. People need kerosene, winter clothes, aid for children, and money for rent. The campaign AsiaNews launched two years ago is more urgent than ever. Give up a superfluous gift to offer refugees an essential gift for life.
Pastor of Amadiya: Mosul’s Christian refugees, torn between emergency aid and the longing to return home
P. Samir Youssef
In a letter Fr. Samir Youssef describes the situation of refugees, exiled from their home for more than two years. They are closely following the offensive to retake Mosul, although their homes and churches "are for the most part" burned or destroyed. With the arrival of winter there is a serve lack of heating oil, clothes, food and money to pay for their children’s school bus. An appeal to continue to support the AsiaNews campaign.
30/11/2016 CHINA - VATICAN
30/11/2016 CHINA - VATICAN
01/12/2016 CHINA - VATICAN
AsiaNews IS ALSO A MONTHLY!
AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.