(AsiaNews) - Two new anti-Christian incidents were recorded, at a one day
interval, in the state of Karnataka. In both cases, Pentecostal Christians were
the victims, attacked in the privacy of their homes, when ultranationalist Hindus
tried to force them to forswear their Christian faith.
For Sajan K
George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), it is
increasingly clear that the incidents "are orchestrated" because "in Karnataka
and in other states governed by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), religion and
politics go hand in hand and are used to gain as many votes as possible." The ultranationalist
Hindu party has been in power in the state since 2007.
The latest case
was recorded yesterday in Gudadahalli Hearaghatta (north of Bangalore). Two Rashtriya
Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS ) activists infiltrated a prayer meeting held at the Pentecostal
Church led by Rev Muniraju. After the start of the service, an additional eight
RSS members burst into the place.
In the church, they
burnt or tore up all the Bibles and religious documents found. They also
slapped and beat up the clergyman.
the community, they dragged him and his five to a Hindu temple, about a
kilometre away, where they forced the couple to take part in a pooja, a Hindu rite. Before they let
them go, the attacked warned them against holding more prayer services.
earlier, on Friday, the Bethel Prathanalaya Pentecostal Church, near Bhadravathi,
Shimoga District, was attacked in the same fashion.
The community of
25 is led by Rev Kumar Hanumanthappa. On that day, the members had travelled to
the neighbouring village Voddarahalli Thanda, guests of five local families.
About 20 RSS and
Bajrang Dal activists stormed the prayer services, telling those present they
would suffer "terrible consequences" if they continued to practice
some of those present and burning some of the Bibles, the Hindus forced the entire
community to walk to the nearest Hindu temple to take part in their religion's 'purification'
Once they were able
to go home, some of the Christians stopped at the Holehonnur police station to
file a formal complaint. However, no one has yet to be arrested in connection
with the case.
"Article 14 of
the Indian constitution provides for equality before law for all people," Sajan
George said. "And yet in the case of attacks on Christians and Christian places
of worship, the perpetrators go scot free, while the innocent victims are