22 January 2018
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  • » 12/15/2017, 09.25

    INDIA

    Madhya Pradesh, dangerous Christmas songs: 30 seminarians and two priests held hostage

    Nirmala Carvalho

    The Christians were detained yesterday in Satna. Their car was burned. Like every year, they wanted to reach a remote village to hold a Christmas carol service.

    Mumbai (AsiaNews) - Yesterday in Satna, in Madhya Pradesh, 30 seminarians and two priests were held hostage by Hindu fundamentalists for a few hours, after being arrested while they were going to a distant village to perform a Christmas carol service. One of their cars was set on fire by the angry mob.

    Speaking to AsiaNews Fr. Stephen Maria, head of public relations in the Madhya Pradesh region, denounces: "The freedom to practice and profess one's faith is suspended by extremists. The celebrations of Christmas have already been disturbed. This is an attack on the secular nature of the country ".

    The seminarians and priests come from St. Ephrem's Theological College in Satna. Like every year, they were traveling to a village to perform a Carol service marking the birth of Jesus and bring his message of peace.

    Yesterday at 8 pm (local time) the priests and seminarians were blocked by fundamentalists and forced by them to follow them to the police station. The agents collected their depositions and wanted to release them, but the mob of extremists locked them up inside the structure, shouting  against them.

    The Christians were able to leave the station only when the multitude dispersed and they no longer risked harm. Released outside, they found one of the cars burning. Stephen Maria relates: "The extremists have burned the car of our singers. They went to the village to give false testimony against the Christians, they wanted to show that they were proselityzing".

    The arrest in Satna is the second episode of intolerance against the Christian minority of Madhya Pradesh in this period of Advent. On December 10th, four Pentecostals were imprisoned in the village of Kalibai because they were "guilty" of praying for Christmas.

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    See also

    21/12/2017 09:57:00 INDIA
    Interior Minister promises a safe Christmas. But celebrations blocked in Rajasthan

    The president of the Episcopal Conference hands over a memorandum for the protection of Christians to Rajnath Singh. Several episodes of intimidation are ruining the Christmas celebrations. Card. Cleemis: "Accidents threaten the credibility of our democratic system".



    28/12/2017 15:26:00 INDIA
    Bishop of Sagar: proclaiming Christ in the streets at Christmas without fear (Photos)

    Anti-Christian demonstrations and arrests have occurred in recent weeks. On 23 December about a thousand people from various Christian denominations took part in a large procession. Some five thousand people from all religions visited a nativity scene set up in front of the cathedral. Mgr Anthony Chirayath describes Christmas celebrations. “We are very happy because we were able to announce the birth of Jesus Christ,” he said.



    04/01/2018 17:54:00 INDIA
    For Mgr Mascarenhas, to impose Hindu worship in Catholic schools is a form of terrorism

    About 900 members of the the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad are gathered in front of St Mary's Post Graduate College in Vidisha. India’s Home Affairs minister deployed 400 police agents to re-establish order. The bishop hopes for a 2018 "of peace and harmony".



    18/12/2017 17:47:00 INDIA
    False charges of forced conversions over Christmas carols in Madhya Pradesh

    The rector of St Ephrem's Theological College of Satna speaks out against the attack against 30 seminarians and two priests, held hostage for several hours by young Hindu militants. The man who accused a priest of giving him money to embrace Christianity appears to have retracted his original claim.



    13/12/2017 14:09:00 INDIA
    Four Pentecostals arrested in Madhya Pradesh, they were praying for Christmas

    Rev Karan was among those detained. Police broke into Bethel Church and stopped Advent prayers. For Sajan K George, "In small remote areas, Jesus is the only refuge".





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