10/12/2011, 00.00
INDIA

Karnataka, six more Christians in prison for forced conversions

Nirmala Carvalho
Activists of the Sangh Parivar (Hindu ultra-nationalist movement) attack and report the men to police as they prayed in their homes. Sajan K George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians, "police collusion." It is the 37th anti-Christian case since the beginning of year.
Mumbai (AsiaNews) - In the district of Coorg (Karnataka), six members of the Full Gospel Church Christians are in prison, accused of practicing forced conversions. Local police arrested the men on a complaint filed by a group of activists from the Sangh Parivar (Hindu ultra-nationalist movement), who attacked the Christians as they prayed. "This is the 37th anti-Christian incident in Karnataka since the beginning of the year - says Sajan K George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC) – it reflects the growing extremism in the country and it is an embarrassment for secular India."

According to a GCIC report, the six Christians - Appacchu, 30; Sharanu, 22; Ganesh, 22; Mani, 26; Raghu, 27; Mani, 45 - were in a private home for prayer, when a group of activists stormed the house . After having insulted them and destroying their bikes, they called the police, who arrested them and dragged them to the Siddapura police station.

According to Sajan K George "now the police collude with the extremists to terrorize Christians and quickly arrest them on false allegations. This situation of public policy destabilizes peace and harmony in society. " Moreover, "the six Christians –he notes- all work in coffee plantations: they are poor and often exploited. However, the power of the Gospel brings hope in their lives and gives them self-esteem. This angers the extremists, whose sole purpose is to subjugate and exploit them to their advantage. "

A magistrate has registered the complaint under Article. 295 / A of the Indian Penal Code (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to offend the religious or class feelings by insulting religion or religious belief). If the sentence is confirmed, the six men face up to three years in prison and a fine.

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