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  • » 08/25/2011, 00.00

    INDIA

    Hindu radicals threaten more anti-Christian pogroms in Karnataka



    According to the Prashanti Human Rights Centre, Christians in this state fear a repeat of the 2008 violence. Police engages in ambiguous behaviour as it keeps files on Protestant clergyman.
    Mangalore (AsiaNews) – The Prashanti Human Rights Centre warns that three years after the bloody pogroms in Orissa, another Indian state could see more of the same, especially since Hindu radicals were responsible for local attacks and violence in September 2008. In fact, panic is now spreading among Karnataka Christians because of rumours that Hindu fundamentalists are planning a new wave of violence (see Nirmala Carvalho, “Karnataka, Hindu protesters incite the massacre of Christians, in AsiaNews, 21 August 2007).

    Rumours began circulating earlier this week after police started calling local clergymen on 18 August asking them to register their prayer houses at the nearest police station, this according to Fr Ronnie Prabhu, SJ, general secretary of the Karnataka United Christian Forum for Human Rights.

    Police, he said, wanted the clergymen to get permission from the district commissioner before holding gatherings and to tell them how many people regularly attended their services.

    Most of the clergymen belong to the Karnataka Mission Network, an association of 27 Pentecostal churches in the state. Its president, Rev Walter Maben, said 70 pastors were contacted this way and were told that without registration, police would not be able to protect their prayer houses and that any gathering would be deemed illegal.

    “The pastors were told to follow the instructions to the letter or they would be in danger,” Fr Prabhu said. However, when a pastor of an unaffiliated church went to the commissioner’s office, he was told that no orders requiring registration were ever issued.

    Citing police sources, Fr Prabhu said that some Hindu groups plan to mark the anniversary of the 2008 attacks with a repeat performance.

    The police apparently are showing concern, he explained, but also appear to be “laying down impossible conditions so that they can’t be held responsible” if any attacks occur.

    The violence that broke out in September 2008 in Karnataka saw a series of attacks on Christians and 24 Church buildings. Hindu extremists had accused Christians of performing conversions in the state.

    In April of this year, Hindu hardliners attacked three Christian homes for children. Last week, a group of 20 extremists attacked a Pentecostal clergyman, Rev Sangappa Hosamani Shadrak, for conducting prayer services in his house (see Nirmala Carvalho, “Hindu radicals ransack churches, beat up clergyman in Karnataka,” in AsiaNews, 22 August 2011).
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    See also

    22/08/2011 INDIA
    Hindu radicals ransack churches, beat up clergyman in Karnataka
    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.”

    25/02/2009 INDIA
    Government blocks rebuilding of church in Orissa
    The church was about to be turned into a Hindu temple. The authorities have stopped construction, but they are not permitting the Catholics to rebuild the edifice, for "legal" reasons.

    16/10/2008 INDIA
    Sangh Parivar wants to remove every Christian trace in Orissa
    Christians are not allowed to pray even in government-run refugee camps. The ground on which homes and churches once stood are taken over and “cleansed” of every trace of violence. Hindus tell raped nun to marry her rapist. The hue and cry is still on for Christians.

    22/12/2010 INDIA
    Orissa, Hindu radicals threaten a Christmas pogrom against Christians
    The Kui Samaj, a fundamentalist movement, has convoked a rally on Dec. 25 to "honor the memory” of one of its members who was injured while destroying a church and later died in unclear circumstances. Christians in India urge the authorities to intervene to prevent an announced massacre, similar to that of 2007.

    10/10/2008 INDIA
    Indian activist: Massacre of Christians planned in advance
    Lenin Raghuvanshi has visited Orissa as a member of a fact-finding team established by the European commission for the prevention of torture. Hindu radicals have a program for expunging Christians from the region and reconverting tribals and pariahs to Hinduism.



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