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    » 09/24/2012, 00.00

    INDIA

    Bible are burnt, Christians attacked to convert them forcibly to Hinduism

    Nirmala Carvalho

    Two more incidents are recorded in Karnataka. Hindu extremists submit Pentecostal Christians to a 'purification' ceremony at a Hindu temple in order to force them to abjure their Christian faith. For the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), "these attacks are work of the Hindu party to win votes."

    Mumbai (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.

    To intimidate 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.

    Two days 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 Christianity.

    After beating 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' ceremony.

    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 arrested".

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    See also

    13/02/2013 INDIA
    More anti-Christian violence threatens Lent celebrations
    Three incidents take place in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh in three successive days. Police complicity and the indifference of political authorities favour anti-Christian attacks by Hindu fundamentalists.

    25/01/2010 INDIA
    Two churches attacked in the State of Karnataka
    Hindu extremists are blamed for this morning’s attacks in the dioceses of Mysore and Karwar. The Holy Family Parish Church was attacked in Inkal (Mysore diocese); it had been also attacked by a group of 70 Hindus in 2002. Christians are increasingly worried.

    06/05/2011 INDIA
    2008 Orissa massacres: Christians fast for justice
    A dharma (a sit-in with fast) is undertaken as Catholic leaders in Bhubaneshwar demand a nation-wide investigation into the violence carried out by Hindu radicals. “Wounds are still deep and scars still present,” Bishop Barwa said, and “the process of complete healing will begin when justice is done.”

    26/11/2012 INDIA
    Karnataka: 39 anti-Christian attacks in 2012
    The information came from the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC). The latest episodes were reported last Friday. A group of Muslim radicals were responsible for an attack in Bellary District; members of the Hindu nationalist Bajrang Dal struck in Kolar District. "Fears in Karnataka have been reignited," GCIC head said.

    10/11/2009 INDIA
    Karnataka: Hindu infiltrate Christians to accuse them of forced conversions
    The phenomenon reported by ex-parliamentary deputy HT Sangliana. It is a ploy to create a "psychosis" among Christians and "poison" public opinion. More than 70 allegations of forced conversions that have never been proved. The Global Council of Indian Christians denounces discrimination in the allocation of aid to flood victims.



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