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    » 06/12/2012, 00.00

    INDIA

    Assam: tribal Christians beaten and forced to convert to Hinduism

    Nirmala Carvalho

    Two men and a woman from the Rabha tribe are seriously wounded. Some 40 Hindu nationalists carried out the attack. The Global Council of Indian Christians slams the systematic attacks. Two Christian families flee for fear of violence.

    Mumbai (AsiaNews) - Some 40 Hindu radicals attacked some Tribal Christian Rabha in the village of Deuphani (Assam). After showering them with insults, death threats and beatings, they forced the victims to abjure their Christian faith.

    "Such systematic attacks are no longer tolerable," said Sajan George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC). "Christians from the Rabha tribe live in a climate of terror," he told AsiaNews. "I call on the authorities to protect your fellow citizens," he said.

    Three Christians, including a woman, suffered serious injuries because of the attack and had to be hospitalised.

    The incident began last Friday, when some Hindus met Bhageswar Rabha, a Christian who had fled Deuphani, and forced him to reconvert to Hinduism.

    A few hours later, around midnight, a group of 40 of them burst into the home of Manesor Rabha, a Pentecostal, and dragged him away, his wife Mala, as well as two other co-religionists, Michael Rabha (pictured) and Prashanto Rabha.

    Once outside, the attackers began insulting and proffering threats against their victims, trying to convince them to abjure their Christian faith and sign blank papers.

    Faced with the victims' silence, the attackers beat them before taking them back to Manesor's house where they left them with a warning that they would suffer "terrible consequences" if they ever filed a complaint with the police.

    On Sunday morning, Mala, Michael and Prashanto were taken to the Satribari Christian Hospital.

    Following the attack, two other families (seven people in all) fled the village.

    "The district administration should ensure the safety of these tribal Christians," Sajan George said. "Religious freedom is guaranteed under Article 25 of the Indian constitution, which says that everyone has 'the right freely to profess, practise and propagate religion.'"

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    See also

    12/05/2009 INDIA
    Orissa government cuts death toll from anti-Christian pogrom
    The authorities reject the list of dead submitted by the diocese of Bhubaneshwar. The president of the Global Council of Indian Christians says the government is reducing the number relying “false justifications” in an attempt “to cut compensation to the victims.” In Kandhamal tensions remain high as Hindu extremists try to storm a refugee camp at night.

    20/03/2008 INDIA
    Fasting and march against the “daily” persecution of Christians in Orissa
    Christians and lawmakers protest in the street against inaction by the Orissa State government over last Christmas’ violence. Since the incidents took place state authorities have done nothing to apprehend the culprits or protect and compensate the victims. Protesters demand the intervention of the central government.

    08/08/2011 INDIA
    Andhra Pradesh: five Christians arrested on false charges, their attackers go free
    The five Christians had written ‘Jesus Saves’ on a rock near a Hindu temple. For Sajan K George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), the authorities’ indifference encourages Hindu extremists to attack the Christian minority. The latest is the third incident of its kind since June in Andhra Pradesh.

    29/03/2011 INDIA
    Orissa: 12 Tribals arrested for converting to Christianity without an official permit
    They violated the Orissa Freedom of Religion Act. Police issued an arrest warrant against the Protestant clergymen who carried out the conversion. For Sajan K. George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), what happened is “scandalous and a travesty of the noble vision and ideals enshrined in Indian constitution.”

    16/10/2008 INDIA
    Sangh Parivar wants to remove every Christian trace in Orissa
    Christians are not allowed to pray even in government-run refugee camps. The ground on which homes and churches once stood are taken over and “cleansed” of every trace of violence. Hindus tell raped nun to marry her rapist. The hue and cry is still on for Christians.



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