11/19/2009, 00.00
INDIA
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Attack on a church in Karnataka. 56th case in 2009

by Nirmala Carvalho
Entrance doors ripped off, windows and furniture destroyed, cross also ripped off the top of the building. The President of the Global Council of Indian Christians: "The wave of incidents against Christians is increasing in Karnataka and other states ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). There is a climate of "growing religious intolerance”.

Bangalore (AsiaNews) - On the night of 17 November, a group of unknown people attacked the Beersheba Church of God of Humanabad in Bidar district, State of Karnataka. At 3, some unidentified persons broke into the church, ripped the doors of entrance, destroyed windows and furniture, removed the cross from the top of the building.

The Christian community of the Beersheba Church of God, eighty faithful led by 32 year-old pastor Chandrapa Devadas, informed the police of Humanabad and local media. Commissioner N. Sathish Kumar met with members of the community ensuring prompt investigation, promising the capture of those responsible within three days and more attention to the safety of local Christians.  

It is the latest in a series of acts of vandalism against a place of Christian worship in Karnataka recorded in recent weeks (see AsiaNews, 10/11/2009, " Karnataka: Hindu infiltrate Christians to accuse them of forced conversions").  

Sajan K George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC) comments on the events in Humanabad, telling AsiaNews that "the spate of incidents against Christians is increasing in Karnataka and other states ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP ), reflecting a growing religious intolerance”.  

With the attack of Humanabad the number of violent episodes against Christian places of worship in Karnataka, during 2009, now stands at 56. The last one was on November 12 when a group of radical Hindus from the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) stopped construction of a church in Bhadravati in the district of Shimoga. Extremists reported the pastor of the local community to the authorities the accusing him of forced conversions. The Shimoga Development Authority investigated the priest asking him to respond to the accusations made by the VHP.

 

The president of the GCIC says: "The government is failing in its duty to protect Christian minorities and keep at bay the Hindu radicals .... The chain of political acquittals of the BJP, Manoj Pradhan, one of the main instigators of the violence in Kandhamal, has made it clear to fundamentalists that they can get away with anything, without having to face justice".

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