20 September 2017
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  • » 09/07/2017, 10.29

    INDIA

    Karnataka, two Pentecostal Christians arrested for forced conversions

    Nirmala Carvalho

    Mercy and Rosaline guilty of distributing religious material. Hindu activists surrounded them and handed them over to the police. The police did not find the Christians in possession of religious materials. Article 25 of the Constitution guarantees freedom of religion.

    Mumbai (AsiaNews) - In Karnataka, two Pentecostal Christians were arrested by the police on charges of forced conversions. The women, Mercy and Roselina, are followers of the "New Life" community. The nationalist radicals claim they visited the houses of local Hindus to distribute the religious material of their organization and proselytize.

    Speaking to AsiaNews Sajan K George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (Gcic), complains: "The Gcic condemns the detention of the two Christians, who are not involved in any criminal or illegal activity."

    According to the Christian leader, the women "were doing only what the Constitution, Article 25, guarantees. The police did not find them in possession of prohibited or dangerous material, weapons, or anti-national texts. There were no complaints from those to whom the sermons were addressed. No hate speech or complaints of forced conversions ".

    The arrest of the two women took place on September 5 in the village of Kavalapadoor, in Bantwal Taluk, in the Dakshina district of Kachada. According to Hindu activists, the Christians visited six Hindu houses, when men were not in the house. Then they distributed texts published by "New Life" and tried to convert those present. Having heard of the incident, some Hindu activists came to the scene and blocked the two women. In their view, they did not provide convincing reasons to justify their presence in the houses. At that point the activists "escorted" them to the police station.

    The agents questioned the Pentecostal Christians. Later, after having found them without any religious material, the women were released. But with a warning: do not try to convert.

    Sajan K George is complaining of a growing "intolerance towards the Christian faith. The renewed audacity of extreme right-wing groups is a serious threat to democratic India. Based on simple suspicions, nationalist activists capture, interrogate, and intimidate Pentecostal Christians. On the contrary, women were not doing anything illegal. Increasing religious intolerance is taking violent forms in India. I am proof of 'Gau Rakshas' (cow watchers, ndr) or vigilantes, who also question what people are eating. "

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    See also

    28/08/2017 09:16:00 INDIA
    Karnataka, Pentecostal Christian accused of forced conversions

    Dorairaj is 63 and resides in the village of Kollamogru-Kalmakaru. A group of about 20 people surrounded and searched. The Christian had already been indicted in the past. Perhaps targeted by the Hindus because a convert.



    13/09/2011 INDIA
    Madhya Pradesh: Pentecostal pastors and 11 Hindus who wanted baptism arrested
    Five activists of the RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) and the police tried to convince the faithful to file a false complaint against the pastor, on charges of forced conversions. The 11 rejected. GCIC: " Madhya Pradesh is a rogue state with the Christian community."

    12/01/2015 INDIA
    Religious violence increases in India with two Christian communities affected
    On the same day, Hindu radical groups attacked a Protestant community in Bihar and Pentecostals in Karnataka. For the president of the Global Council of Indian Christians, "extremist groups feel encouraged to attack Christians because they are not restrained by the law."

    16/05/2017 10:35:00 INDIA
    Karnataka, Pentecostal Christians assaulted by Hindu extremists for 'forced conversions'

    The episodes of violence occurred at Ramamurthy Nagar and Lingarajapuram, suburbs of Bangalore. In both cases, the extremists attacked the Christians and burned brochures with Gospel songs. Sajan K George: "The only goal is to foment sectarian tensions."



    24/11/2014 INDIA
    Karnataka, Hindu radicals attack a Pentecostal church: eight injured, two serious
    The Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC) condemns the latest attack against a Christian community: "Religious fundamentalists are a threat to the rule of law." Instead of stopping the attackers, police arrest a Christian pastor.



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