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  • » 03/09/2013, 00.00

    INDIA

    Karnataka, dozens of Hindu fundamentalists attack a Christian community

    Nirmala Carvalho

    Eight people seriously injured. The Pentecostal Christians were holding a night vigil of prayer, when at least 30 Hindu nationalists attacked accusing them of forced conversions. It is the sixth attack in Karnataka since the beginning of 2013.

    Mumbai (AsiaNews) - Dozens of Hindu fundamentalists have violently attacked a Pentecostal community of Karnataka as they prepared for a night vigil of prayer. Eight people, including a pastor, were injured and hospitalized. Thanks to the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), the police arrived on the spot quickly and arrested 16 attackers.

    The incident occurred in the village of Moodubelle, near Udupi. Thirty activists from the Hindu nationalist movement Rashtriya Sawayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and Bajrang Dal raided the house of Rev. Robert Lobo, pastor of World of Victory Ministries, where the vigil was being held. The fundamentalists accused them of practicing of forced conversions and beat the faithful present. Another pastor, Fr. Ramesh Poojari, suffered serious head injuries and was taken to Manipal Hospital in Udupi. Another seven people, five men - Ramesh, Prem, Suraj, Shantharam and Janardhan - and two women - Sujatha and Shakisala - have been admitted to the Ajarakadu State hospital.

    GCIC contacted the police in Shirva who have assured justice to the Christian community. "This - Sajan George, president of the GCIC tells AsiaNews - is the sixth anti-Christian attack in Karnataka since the beginning of 2013 and does not bode well for freedom of worship in India. Hostility and religious intolerance continue to grow and are a cause of serious concern for the vulnerable Christian minority. These believers had gathered for a night vigil, an absolutely legal act. Freedom of religion is a constitutional right, but these extremists have political protection in Karnataka's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP, ultra-nationalist Hindu party) and are encouraged to persecute the Christian community, particularly the Pentecostals. "

     

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    See also

    06/02/2012 INDIA
    TV series about Indian Christians to be aired in Karnataka
    Titled ‘Rabbi’, the series is in Kannada, Karnataka’s official language. The show’s producer wants to “promote communal harmony” by showing the daily “challenges Christian families face”.

    08/07/2011 INDIA
    More anti-Christian attacks in Karnataka
    A Pentecostal preacher is accused of forced conversions. In Belgaum district, BJP officials attack a religious school for girls, threatening to destroy it because it turned down the application of two Hindu girls.

    01/09/2009 INDIA
    Assault on two Protestant churches in Karnataka. Police accused of aiding and abetting
    The Global Council of Indian Christians attributes the attack to local leaders of Sangh Parivar, the Hindu movement accused of many acts of violence against Christians. For the past year the Indian state has been the scene of attacks especially against Protestant churches.

    30/07/2013 INDIA
    Karnataka: Hindu nationalists persecute Tribals to regain power, says Christian leader
    According to the president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), after its defeat at the elections, "the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is desperate." In Arsikere (Hassan District), a Pentecostal clergyman is the victim of false allegations of forced conversions.

    17/07/2014 INDIA
    Chhattisgarh, Christians targeted by Hindu radicals: Out by August or pay dearly
    The threat comes from the militants of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), a radical Hindu organization close to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). It is the latest attack on a Christian community in the district of Bastar, a tribal majority.



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