01/03/2011, 00.00
INDIA
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Attempted murder of an Indian Christian leader in Karnataka

by Nirmala Carvalho
The attack took place yesterday evening at a prayer service in Davanagere. The victim was hit with a cleaver and was saved by a miracle. Hindu radicals 'anti-conversion' law behind the attack. "It 's an excuse for anti-Christian violence," says the chairman of the Global Council of Indian Christians, recalling the Pope's message on religious freedom.

Mumbai (AsiaNews) – There has been a murder attempt of a Christian leader in India. Pastor Isaac Samuel, coordinator of the Global Council of Indian Christians in Davanagere in the state of Karnataka, was attacked yesterday, Sunday, Jan. 2, at 20:30. Isaac Samuel was leading a prayer service for some Christians who belong to the nomadic community, the Pikk Akki, and live in a camp near the bus station in Davanagere. The attack took place in front of his wife and two sons.

"The Hindu fundamentalists who were opposed to the prayer service attacked the Pastor with a cleaver with the clear intention of killing him," Sajan George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians told AsiaNews. "Thank God the blade missed his head, getting him instead in the neck and shoulder, however seriously injuring the pastor." The victim was transported to the state hospital Chigateri at Davanagere, where doctors closed the wound with twelve stitches. He is still under treatment, and although he had to undergo a blood transfusion, seems out of danger.

"The attack on Samuel Isaac underscores the timeliness of the Holy Father’s urgent appeal that freedom of religion is the path to peace," said Sajan George. "Furthermore, the government of the Bharatiya Janata Party must realise that the 'anti-conversion' law has a history of misuse by Hindu fundamentalists, and has provided an excuse for anti-Christian violence in other states." Thanks to the Global Council of Indian Christians, the police took action and initiated an investigation  into the aggression, which was widely covered by local media and television. A man, identified only by the name of Bansava,  has been arrested. With the collaboration of  Santosh Digal

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