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» 08/22/2011
INDIA
Hindu radicals ransack churches, beat up clergyman in Karnataka
by Nirmala Carvalho
For two Sundays in a row, Mass service was disrupted. Yesterday, a clergyman was roughed up and arrested on false forced conversion charges. For Global Council of Indian Christians president Sajan K George, “The aggressors walk free. Sixty-four years since independence, religious freedom does not exist in states like Karnataka, Orissa and Gujarat. This is a serious blot on secular India.”

Mudhol (Asia News) – In Karnataka, Rev Sangappa Hosamani Shadrak, 28, a resident of Mudhol, was attacked by 20 radical Hindu activists from the Bajrang Dal. The incident occurred yesterday when the clergyman was celebrating Sunday Mass in the home of a parishioner, Yellappa Hosamani, in the village of Rohi, some 10 kilometres from the clergyman’s own home. In recent years, he had held had regular Sunday service in the village.

When extremists attacked the small Christian community, they desecrated the bread and wine used during the celebration and badly beat up Rev Shadrak, who lost a tooth and was seriously hurt to the face. After the initial attack, he was taken to another village, Latte, where he was tied to a tree. His attackers then left him and called police in Lokapura.

Accompanied by a few agents, Inspector Choudhary freed the clergyman and took him, and some of his parishioners, to a police station. Rev Shadrak was eventually sent to Jamkotai prison for detention on unspecified charges, this despite attempts by the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC) to have him released.

GCIC president Sajan K George slammed the arrest. “Attacks against Christians continue despite promises made by the new chief minister, Sadananda Gowda, who has always had good and cordial relations with the Christian community. The latter backed him but it continues to be vulnerable and suffer persecution by Hindutva extremists.”

Sajan K George said that for two Sundays in a row, Mass was disrupted. Pentecostal clergymen have been insulted and roughed up. The church has been ransacked and false charges of conversion laid against innocent people.

“The aggressors walk free. Sixty-four years since independence, religious freedom does not exist in states like Karnataka, Orissa and Gujarat. This is a serious blot on secular India.”

The GCIC is also worried about a new campaign launched by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP). The Hindu extremist Hindu group has come out against a draft law on ‘Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence’.

VHP leader Pravin Togadia said the law would make police “subservient to minority communities”. He accuses the National Advisory Council chaired by Sonia Gandhi of being anti-Hindu.

In reality, the law is designed to give the central government the power to declare a state of “internal disturbance” whenever sectarian violence breaks out.

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See also
08/25/2011 INDIA
Hindu radicals threaten more anti-Christian pogroms in Karnataka
10/10/2008 INDIA
Indian activist: Massacre of Christians planned in advance
by Nirmala Carvalho
02/06/2009 INDIA
Orissa: Hindu temple being built atop rubble of Batticola church
by Nirmala Carvalho
09/16/2008 INDIA
More anti-Christian violence in Orissa; school attacked in Kerala
by Nirmala Carvalho
12/19/2008 INDIA
Widow of Orissa: Christmas, power of forgiveness for killers of my husband
by Nirmala Carvalho

Editor's choices
VATICAN
Pope: I am with the persecuted Christians of Mosul and the Middle East "May the God of peace inspire in all a genuine desire for dialogue and reconciliation. Violence is never defeated with violence. Violence is defeated with peace." At the Sunday Angelus Francis comments on the parable of the wheat and the weeds. God is "patient" He knows "the same weeds in the end, may become good wheat". But "at the time of the harvest, that is, of judgment, the reapers will execute the order of the master separating the weeds to be burned".
CHINA - VATICAN
Beijing, seminarians desert graduation ceremony: We will not celebrate Mass with illegitimate bishops The rector of the seminary is the illegitimate bishop Joseph Ma Yinglin: Students refuse to concelebrate with him and reject Msgr. Fang Xingyao, who has participated in several illegal episcopal ordinations. The directors close the year without awarding diplomas and send students home: rumors of some courses being "suspended" in September. The precedent of 2000, when 130 young students chose fidelity to the Pope over compromise with the government.
HONG KONG-CHINA-VATICAN
Card Zen: Religious freedom and civil liberties are united, for China and Hong Kong
by Bernardo CervelleraA wide ranging conversation with the bishop emeritus of Hong Kong: the courage of Msgr. Ma Daqin, who sent a message to Pope Francis; underground Catholics are also prepared to be arrested; suspicions about Beijing’s sincerity towards possible dialogue with the Holy See. And in Hong Kong, the march for a referendum on democracy; support for "Occupy Central"; the fear of the government and arrests. Card. Zen reaffirms that religious freedom and civil liberties go hand in hand.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
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pp. 528
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pp. 240
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