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    » 11/22/2012, 00.00

    INDIA

    Karnataka, Hindu nationalists demolish a Pentecostal church

    Nirmala Carvalho

    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 Dal.

    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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    See also

    17/09/2009 INDIA
    For Orissa bishop government lying as it tries to evade responsibility in anti-Christian violence
    Government officials testify before the commission of inquiry set up to look into last year’s anti-Christian violence. Former district collector in Kandhamal talks about illegal conversions to Christianity, whilst police inspector general claims the authorities had no intelligence about Maoist threats against Hindus. For the bishop of Bhubanewsar, they are all in together to rid the State of its Christian minority.

    24/08/2004 INDIA
    Priest seriously injured in attack against Catholic Church


    26/07/2005 INDIA
    Hindu extremists slander the Church but send their children to Church-run schools
    False charges of "forced conversions" are levelled at a Catholic priest. For the local bishop, this is a plot by Hindu extremists, backed by the state government that provides the legal instruments. Behind it, there is an attempt by extremists to get free access to high-status Catholic schools.

    15/09/2011 INDIA
    Orissa State: demolition order for churches is revoked
    Kandhamal district makes the announcement. However the Catholic archbishop of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar, archbishop John Barwa, warns: “nevertheless local officials continue to torment Christians”. A prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary on the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows.

    27/08/2008 INDIA
    Orissa: burning and looting continues, Christians beaten and cut to pieces
    Vikram Nayak was killed, and then cut to pieces. Two Christians die two days after suffering serious injuries. Unrest by radical Hindus continues as police is ordered to shoot on sight those who break the curfew. Two nuns who were attacked tell their stories; Catholic schools to close for a day; the faithful are called to observe a day of prayer and fasting.



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