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» 07/26/2012
INDIA
Karnataka, more anti-Christian violence. An appeal to the new president of India
by Nirmala Carvalho
Since 2012, 20 incidents perpetrated in the State by ultra-nationalist Hindus. The latest victims are six Pentecostal Christian families (Gadag district) and an evangelical community (Bijapur district), attacked in the privacy of their homes. False accusations of forced conversion trigger violence.

Mumbai (AsiaNews) - There have been 20 incidents of violence against Christians in Karnataka since 2012. The script says Sajan George, the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), is always the same: "systematic attacks against the Christian community; blatant invasions of privacy by Hindu extremists in the sacred intimacy of homes, physical and verbal violence against a helpless and inoffensive community ". According to the president of the GCIC, they are "serious violations of the rights of every Indian citizen, and a debasement of human dignity of Christians." To stop these incidents, the Protestant leader has also appealed to Pranab Mukherjee, India's new president, to "protect and defend the rights enshrined in our Constitution." In his speech yesterday at the official inauguration, the newly elected head of state has promised to act as guarantor and guardian of the Indian Charter.

The last two attacks date to July 22. In the first case, the victims are six families of Gypsy Church, a Pentecostal Church of Gadag district. A dozen activists of the Sangh Parivar raided the home of a Christian, during a prayer service. Hindu nationalists have beaten and insulted those present, accusing them of practicing forced conversions. Three faithful - Lokappa Badagar, Sagarappa Bagadar and Kamalavva Badagar - were seriously injured and admitted to a local hospital. Meanwhile, Hindus have registered a complaint with the police in Gadag, declaring that Christians were practicing forced conversions.

Two days later, activists of the Bajrang Dal and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP, Sangh Parivar affiliates) urged the police to detain the six families. The agents arrested 14 Christians, and then released them the next morning. However, the police have opened an investigation into the families.

The second incident happened in the village of Muddebehal (Bijapur district), against the Evangelical Church of Salvation Rev. Manjappa Byadagi. Led by a man named Ashok, activists of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) raided the church, beating the faithful and destroying the Bibles. After the attack, the Hindus paid a man to declare that he was forced to convert to Christianity. Recording the false testimony in a video, the activists phoned the police to report the Muddebehal Christians. At that point, the inspector Basavaraj Lamani arrested pastor Byadgi, his wife, young son and one church member. After a day of detention, the officers released the four Christians, but ordered them to stop their prayer services.

 


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See also
10/12/2011 INDIA
Karnataka, six more Christians in prison for forced conversions
by Nirmala Carvalho
11/09/2010 INDIA
The daily persecution of Orissa’s Christians
by Nirmala Carvalho
09/27/2010 INDIA
Karnataka: police arrest Pentecostal pastor beaten by Hindu extremists
by Nirmala Carvalho
09/09/2010 INDIA
Hindu extremist MP sentenced for killings in Orissa anti-Christian pogrom
by Santosh Digal
08/24/2004 INDIA
Priest seriously injured in attack against Catholic Church

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