23 May 2017
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  • » 05/05/2016, 10.05

    INDIA

    Madhya Pradesh, Hindu extremists stone Protestant church

    Nirmala Carvalho

    The incident happened in the early hours of this morning. According to the fundamentalists, two parishioners damaged saffron flags (the symbol color of Hindu nationalism) exposed outside the church for the festival of Rama. The US religious freedom Commission's report confirms the escalation of violence against Christians in India.

     

    Jobat (AsiaNews) - A mob of 500 Hindu right-wing activists have attacked a Protestant church damaging the entrance and throwing stones at the faithful. The incident happened in the early hours of this morning in Jabat, in Madhya Pradesh. Hindu extremists reacted to the alleged damage to the saffron-colored flags (the symbol color of nationalists) exposed outside the church on the occasion of Ram Navmi festival ( which marks the birth of Rama).

    The president of the local branch of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP, the Hindu ultra-nationalist ruling party), has been reported to police on charges of riot, damage to a place of worship corruption and violence against women.

    Meena Chauhan, superintendent of Alirajpur district police, said that "the problems started at nine o'clock last night, when some people came to us with a complaint against Nirmal Raymind Nigam and his brother, accused of damaging the saffron flags they had placed near the church on the occasion of the festival ". The police immediately registered the complaint, by sending a patrol to arrest the two.

    Meanwhile, says Pastor Emmanuel Ariel, " RSS activists [Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the Hindu ultra-nationalist paramilitary group ed], the BJP and Bajrang Dal [youth wing of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, VHP] led by former district chief, threw stones at members of the community, attacked our women and broke the church lamps. " The most shocking thing, he adds, "is that all this happened before the eyes of the police officers, who stood by as silent spectators." The pastor denied that they the faithful of his church damaged the flags: "They were probably torn because of the wind".

    According to Sajan K George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), the episode confirms the deterioration of the situation: "Religious tolerance and freedom of worship in India are deteriorating and violence is increasing."

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    See also

    03/07/2006 INDIA
    Madhya Pradesh: Hindu extremists burn down Pentecostal church

    This is the second place of worship to be destroyed in the same district. Bibles found inside were also burned. The Catholic Church has expressed solidarity and concern about what happened.



    26/07/2006 INDIA
    Madhya Pradesh makes anti-conversion law tougher

    The state assembly yesterday approved – with a voice vote and without parliamentary debate – a decree that strengthens the anti-conversion law. The Christian Association has protested.



    26/07/2005 INDIA
    Hindu extremists slander the Church but send their children to Church-run schools
    False charges of "forced conversions" are levelled at a Catholic priest. For the local bishop, this is a plot by Hindu extremists, backed by the state government that provides the legal instruments. Behind it, there is an attempt by extremists to get free access to high-status Catholic schools.

    22/06/2012 INDIA
    New attacks against Pentecostal Christians in Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka
    The incidents are driven by ultra-nationalist Hindus (Bharatiya Janata Party, BJP). In both cases, the police arrested the Christians. Sajan George, the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC): "Disturbing pattern, made of social pressures and violence."

    19/09/2008 INDIA
    Hindu radicals set fire to Jabalpur cathedral, threaten new attacks in Madhya Pradesh
    Dharm Raksha Sena groups dare parish priest to stop their action. More destruction is planned. Violence is tied to BJP election campaign. Gathering is to take place tomorrow, bringing Christians, Muslims, Sikhs and moderate Hindus together in Vijayawada (Andhra Pradesh).



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