» 11/22/2012, 00.00
Karnataka, Hindu nationalists demolish a Pentecostal church
The Blessing Youth Mission of the Chippagiri Gowtown village was built 15 years ago. The attackers threatened to kill the faithful and set fire to the place of worship. Rev. Suresh has complained to the police, who gave their utmost collaboration.
Mumbai (AsiaNews) - Hindu nationalists of Sangh
Parivar have demolished a Pentecostal church in Karnataka. This was
reported to AsiaNews by the Global Council of Indian Christians
(GCIC), which is providing legal assistance to
the Christians affected. The incident occurred late in the evening of 20
November. The church was the Blessing Youth Mission in the village of Chippagiri Gowtown (Karwar
district), and had existed for 15 years. Rev. Suresh Kithan Siddle denounced
the event to the police station, and an officer has promised that the
perpetrators will be found and brought to justice.
At around 10:30 p.m. (local time), a Hindu nationalist group
locked 30 members of the Pentecostal community in their homes, threatening them
with death if they tried to escape. Around 11 p.m., the attackers began to
demolish the church. To raze it to the ground, they set it on fire.
According to the pastor's account, the attackers are members
of the local faction of the Sangh Parivar, a Hindu
nationalist movement that welcomes and unites under its umbrella radical groups
such as the Rashtriya
Sawayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the Vishwa
Hindu Prishad (VHP) and the Bajrang
A month ago, some of these Hindu activists accused Rev.
Suresh of practicing forced conversions, threatening "serious
consequences" if he did not stop.
"The faithful of the church", said Sajan George,
president of the GCIC, "are mostly day laborers. The Indian Constitution
guarantees freedom of religion. Yet, with the complicity of the government, the
extremists of Sangh Parivar harass,
beat and make false allegations of forced conversions against the Christians.
And, sometimes, they go so far as to demolish churches."
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