30 August, 2015 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile






mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato

e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 09/15/2008
INDIA
Karnataka: 20 churches attacked, Christians accuse police of inaction
by Nirmala Carvalho
Young Hindu fundamentalists attack an enclosed convent. Police knew in advance that attacks would take place. Hindu radicals pledge more violence in other states of the Union.

Mangalore (AsiaNews) – Some 20 churches were vandalised in Mangalore, Udupi, Chikmalagur, and in other districts of Karnataka (south-western India). They include the monastery of the Sisters of St-Clare in Milagres. Christians have accused the police of doing nothing to prevent attacks by Hindu radicals, clashing with law enforcement officers yesterday.

Indian authorities imposed a curfew and banned all gatherings after clashing with Christians angered by the attacks and a large crowd of protesting Hindu fundamentalists.

Hindu demonstrators were still able to destroy all they could find inside the Church of St-Sebastian in Permannur, including windows and furniture.

Christians demonstrated against the police, which intervened, arresting tens of people.

Yesterday morning groups from the Sangh Parivar, an umbrella organisation that includes Hindu paramilitary groups, attacked Catholic and Protestant churches as well as temples belonging to the Jehovah’s Witnesses and some Evangelical groups.

In various districts and locations attacks seem to have been planned.

A group of youth from the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) went inside the chapel of Adoration Monastery in Milagres and destroyed all they could find.

The monastery is run by the Sisters of St-Clare (Poor Clares).

In a quick succession they desecrated the tabernacle and the Eucharist, the monstrance, a crucifix, the oil lamps, the vases on the altar and a few statues of saints.

Eye witnesses in the chapel said they were armed with big stones and heavy sticks. Some of the faithful tried to stop them but were beaten and are now in hospital.

Similar attacks took place in Belthangady, Kodaikal, Chikmangalore, Udupi, Koloor, Chickmangalore, Kundapur, Karkal, Koppa, Balehanoor and Moodbidri.

Mangalore Police Superintendent N Sateesh Kumar admitted the police had information that some pro-Hindu organisations were planning to attack Christian places of worship in the district. Never the less, he did nothing to prevent them.

“If the police knew about this in advance and still could not prevent the attacks, then we have no hope,” said Fr Henry Sequeira, chancellor of the diocese of Mangalore.

Yesterday frustration led many Christians to publicly express their mistrust in the police (see photo). Despite the curfew they gathered in places that were attacked and three stones at police who tried to break up their gatherings.

In Milagres hundreds of Christians got together to defend their churches. Some of the faithful, including a nun, who tried to get to the church for Sunday Evening Mass were beaten by police, which used tear gas to disperse the Christian crowd.

Police arrested five young members of the Hindu fundamentalist group Bajrang Dal, who were behind the attack against the Poor Clares.

Mahendra Kumar, one of the leaders of Hindu militant youth organisation, denied that his group attacked any Catholic church, saying that they only attacked prayer halls belonging to the New Life Evangelical sect. He added that more attacks were planned.

The new wave of violence began in Orissa where a radical Hindu leader was killed by Maoists rebels. However the Sangh Parivar blamed the Christian community for the death as part of its campaign to drive Christians out of India and stop what it calls forced conversions of Hindus to Christianity. Eventually violence spread from Orissa to other states like Madya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Karnataka.

The All India Christian Council, an umbrella organisation that represents all of India’s Christian organisations, issued an appeal in which it expressed its fear that there “may be many more [attacks] in other states, including the national capital New Delhi” as well as in “states ruled by Congress”.

For many observers all these attacks are politically significant. The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is backing the Sangh Parivar’s anti-Christian campaigns.


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
09/12/2008 INDIA
Police gag order silences Sisters of Mother Teresa
by Nirmala Carvalho
12/12/2007 INDIA
More than 500 cases of anti-Christian violence in 23 months
06/24/2009 INDIA
The BJP tries to self analyze and distant itself from Hindu extremism
by CT Nilesh
09/20/2010 INDIA
“We pray for peace in Ayodhya,” Card Gracias says, against possible Hindu-Muslims tensions
by Nirmala Carvalho
07/26/2005 INDIA
Hindu extremists slander the Church but send their children to Church-run schools
by Nirmala Carvalho

Editor's choices
LEBANON
Muslims defend Christians’ freedom in Beirut DeclarationFreedom of religion, education and opinion are defended by quoting the Qur’ān, which is the basis for the rule of law, not a religious state. Lebanese Sunnis slam violence committed in the name of God. The full declaration is reprinted here.
LEBANON
Islamic Makassed launch doctrinal battle against Muslim extremism
by Fady NounOfficial reference point for Lebanon’s Sunnis approves a document entitled "Beirut Declaration on Religious Freedom". Speculation over whether Dar el-Fatwa will succeed in gradually regaining control of Islamic religious teaching in the nation’s mosques.
HONG KONG – CHINA
For Card Zen, removing crosses in Zhejiang is an insult to the faith of CatholicsHong Kong’s bishop emeritus has come to the conclusion that the campaign to dismantle crosses and religious buildings is part of a broader, nation-wide strategy, and constitutes regression in terms of the mainland's religious policy. Catholics and Protestants in Hong Kong now fear that it might happen to them. In Zhejiang, another 15 religious buildings are slated for destruction by 1 September.

Dossier

Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.