Hindu extremists disrupt another Christian prayer meeting. Christian clergymen are arrested in Azamgarh district. For Sajan K. George (Global Council of Indian Christians), anti-Christian attacks “continue to grow and are reaching alarming proportions” with the divisive anti-conversion laws used as a pretext.
Mumbai (AsiaNews) – Anti-Christian attacks in India "continue to grow and are reaching alarming proportions,” said Sajan K George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), speaking to AsiaNews about the rising anti-Christian violence and the arrests of Evangelical pastors.
The latest incident took place last Friday when a group of Hindu extremists from the Hindu Jagaran Vedike (HJV) stormed the Pragathi Centre, a private Christian prayer house, in Udupi district (Karnataka) while a prayer meeting was in progress.
The Hindu extremists accused Benedict, one of the organisers, of carrying out conversion activities. They ransacked the facility and threatened those present. Eventually, police moved in and drove away the HJV militants.
The latter however filed a fraudulent conversion complaint at the Karkala police station. Meeting organisers explained that the event involved different local communities.
Prior to this incident, two pastors were arrested in Uttar Pradesh.
Rev Raju Majhi was caught up by the state’s anti-conversion law on 7 September in Azamgarh. In his case too, a mob of fanatics broke up a prayer meeting and dragged the head of the local Evangelical church to the police station in Jianpur.
The next day Rev Rajesh Kumar, who went to see Rev Majhi to bring him food, was also arrested.
“Christian worship is disrupted, innocent pastors are beaten by right-wing goons, and then arrested,” explained GCI president George. “Regrettably, this is becoming the norm in Indian states governed by the Hindu nationalist party, the BJP.”
India’s “small Christian community is only exercising its rights guaranteed by the Indian Constitution, without violating any law,” George added.
“The charges of forced conversions are fabricated only to create communal frenzy. Not even women and children are spared this violence. Are Christians in secular India second-class citizens?”