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  • » 09/27/2010, 00.00

    INDIA

    Karnataka: police arrest Pentecostal pastor beaten by Hindu extremists

    Nirmala Carvalho

    During Sunday service Hindu extremists stormed the church, beat the Pastor, insulted and threatened those present. The police then arrested the pastor, on charges of having converted people. Anti-Christian violence a daily occurrence in the region.

    New Delhi (AsiaNews) - A Pentecostal pastor Shivanda Siddi was arrested in Karnataka yesterday, with the false accusation of forcing conversions to Christianity. Sajan K. George, chairman of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC) told AsiaNews that he was simply celebrating Sunday services at his Church Gnanodaya ("Dawn of Knowledge) in the Umachagi village, Mundgod Taluk.

    For five years the pastor has devoted himself to the small community of about 25 faithful, especially tribals.

    Sajan explians that "the Sunday service began as usual at 10. Around 11 am, while the faithful prayed, five activists of the Bajrang Dal [Hindu extremist group] stormed the church and started arguing with the minister. Then they insulted him, beat him, and stripped him of his clothes, they took the Bibles from the faithful. The physical and verbal aggression continued for about 30 minutes, then the extremists telephoned the police station in Yellapur, about 3 km away”.

    "A police inspector of Yellapur arrived in a jeep and took the pastor, with 7 women and 2 young children, to the police station. The extremists followed threatening them in front of the police station, who watched in silence. "

    The GCIC intervened and the police have released the women and children, at 18.30, without charge. Instead, the pastor was brought before the judge and charged under Section 295 of the Penal Code, which provides for forced conversions. He has been brought to the Sirsi prison in Uttar Kananda.

    Sajan adds there were "at least 47 documented anti-Christian incidents” in Karnataka in 2010". “I am referring only to cases where Christians have been arrested. But there are countless attacks on Christians, in which pastors are periodically slapped, beaten, insulted, or services disrupted and the faithful threatened, or Bibles and other Christian texts burned or torn, or stones thrown at Christian buildings, which should be considered a disgrace for a secular and democratic country. "

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    See also

    02/03/2005 INDIA
    Christians attacked, BJP administration backs fundamentalists, Bishop of Orissa says
    The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) wants to discredit the Congress Party. An anti-conversion law is set to be approved in Rajasthan.

    09/11/2010 INDIA
    The daily persecution of Orissa’s Christians
    Forced conversions, prohibition of buying goods in shops, the faithful have to live in half-ruined houses without roofs and dirt floors: in In Kandhamal violence against Christians is "normal". The authorities do not intervene. The report of a special fact-finding group.

    27/05/2005 INDIA
    Christian clergyman disappears in Andhra Pradesh
    Hindu fundamentalists come under suspicion for the incident. The Archbishop of Hyderabad calls for state intervention. He says that extremists are working underground and fundamentalist spies and informers are penetrating Christian communities to collect information and plan attacks.

    09/03/2005 INDIA
    Falsely accused priest arrested in Gujarat
    Hindu fundamentalists persuade a woman to press charges against a Jesuit priest. Two months ago the same woman had cleared him of the same charges.

    12/10/2011 INDIA
    Karnataka, six more Christians in prison for forced conversions
    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.



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