10/05/2018, 10.21
INDIA
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Hindu radicals attack churches in Uttar Pradesh and Assam

by Nirmala Carvalho

Already two episodes of violence since the beginning of the month. The church of Saint Thomas vandalized in Varanasi; in Assam a statue of Don Bosco desecrated. The climate of impunity "encourages extremist groups".

Mumbai (AsiaNews) - Violence against the Christian minority and their places of worship continues unabated in India. Since the beginning of the month barley a week asgo, there are already two episodes of discrimination and vandalization, as reported by the Christian group Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC).

President Sajan K George reports to AsiaNews that the incidents occurred in Uttar Pradesh and Assam. "The upsurge of episodes against Christians in various states - he says - reveals a very dangerous trend in secular India, which guarantees religious freedom at constitutional level".

The most recent case occurred on 2 October in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, when a group of about 50-60 radicals belonging to the Hindi Yuva Shakti Sangathan marched against the church of Saint Thomas [Protestant, ed.]. "Hindu nationalists have vandalized property and threatened the pastor with further violence if he did not stop making forced conversions. The activists of the extremist fringe gave life to a fight inside the church accusing the pastor of converting Hindus against their will ". The church in question, explains Sajan K George, was born 200 years ago and is only open on Sundays. "So the accusation of forced conversions makes no sense".

The second case of discrimination took place in Assam during the night of 29 September, when some criminals desecrated the statue of Don Bosco in the city of Tezpur. The police has still not identified any suspects. Instead in Varanasi 60 people have been reported for public ruckus and damage to private property.

The GCIC, concludes the Christian activist, "is saddened by the climate of impunity that encourages the radical elements and the silence of those who are responsible for enforcing the order. Both of these endanger the vulnerable Christian minority ".

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