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  • » 06/18/2014, 00.00

    INDIA

    As anti-Christian violence continues, fear and insecurity increase among minorities

    Nirmala Carvalho

    Hindu fundamentalists carry out attacks in Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh. "These radical groups claim to be defenders of Hinduism just because they practice the majority religion," Global Council of Indian Christians tells AsiaNews.

    Mumbai (AsiaNews) - "Anti-Christian attacks continue in India and fear and insecurity are growing in minority communities," said Sajan K. George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), who spoke to AsiaNews after Hindu fundamentalists carried out fresh attacks against Christians in the last two days in the states of Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh.

    On Monday, a group of ultra-nationalists attacked about 150 members of a Pentecostal community in Sirisguda (Chhattisgarh), beating them with sticks. Only police intervention allowed the nine people wounded to go to hospital.

    The violence was sparked the Christians' failure to "pay" a donation to the local Hindu temple. For this reason, they also lost government rations a month ago.

    Similarly, in Madhya Pradesh, a group of 16 people yesterday stopped two Pentecostal clergymen from the Katni Brethren Assembly, who were going home with others after attending a wedding.

    The attackers searched the Christians; when they found Bibles in their bags, they tore the sacred books and attacked them.

     "Hindu fundamentalist groups," Sajan George told AsiaNews, "claim to be defenders of Hinduism just because they practice the majority religion." This, he noted, "is an insult and an attack on religious freedom as guaranteed by our Constitution."

    Not surprisingly, said the GCIC president, "anti-conversion laws that are in place in both Madhya Pradesh and in Chhattisgarh have been recently modified to make them even tougher."

    Theoretically, these measures should prohibit conversions obtained by force or money. However, they have been used to persecute Christians and other minorities, on false accusations of forced conversions.

    Hindu fundamentalist groups responsible for such attacks are part of the Sangh Parivar, an umbrella term for India's nationalist groups, politically embodied by the Bharatiya Janata Party (Indian People's Party, BJP), a nationalist party that won this year's parliamentary election.

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    See also

    11/11/2008 INDIA
    Orissa bishops call on government to rebuild churches by Christmas
    The request is made in a letter addressed to the state’s chief minister, Naveen Patnaik, to help things get back to normal. However, violence and forced re-conversion to Hinduism are still taking place in the state, generating fear and terror. The bishops call on the central government to continue the deployment of special forces in the state until after the upcoming election which is scheduled for 9 April next year.

    03/09/2014 INDIA
    India, false accusations of forced conversions used to intimidate Christian minority
    This is the strategy adopted by ultra-nationalist Hindu groups in various parts of the country. The latest incident took place in Uttar Pradesh, where 10 Protestant pastors were interrogated and detained by the police. Militants of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) paramilitary group incite villagers against Christian religious.

    14/11/2014 INDIA
    India's Hindu Radical go on the offensive, calling for a stop to conversions to Christianity and Islam
    On the 50th anniversary of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), an extremist leader calls for Christians and Muslims to return to Hinduism. For the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), such statements are "absolutely illegal" and "feed suspicion and mistrust" towards minorities. By contrast, the Indian Constitution guarantees freedom of religion.

    04/03/2008 INDIA
    Orissa survivors, UN ‘political refugees’
    The president of the Global Council of Indian Christians makes a proposal to that effect, blames government for doing “nothing to ensure the safety” of victims. Hyderabad archbishop complains that anti-Christian violence is getting worse by the day.

    20/02/2009 INDIA
    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.



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