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  • » 09/13/2011, 00.00

    INDIA

    Madhya Pradesh: Pentecostal pastors and 11 Hindus who wanted baptism arrested

    Nirmala Carvalho

    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."
    Mumbai (AsiaNews) - Insulted, beaten and charged with false accusations of forced conversions of five Hindu activists by the RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh). This is what happened yesterday in Madhya Pradesh to four Pentecostal pastors, and the wife of one of the11 faithful. After a night in jail, they were released on bail today. It is the latest episode of aggression by Hindu nationalists against Pentecostal pastors. But Sajan K George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC) points out: "The situation is alarming for all Christians, Madhya Pradesh is a rogue state that does not guarantee any rights of the Constitution in this community."

    Pastors Ramesh, Balu and Ashok were driving to a prayer meeting attended by 20 other people. Of these, 11 were to have received the baptism ritual according to Pentecostal ritual. Suddenly, the RSS activists armed with sticks broke into the house, along with three local police officers. The pastors tried to explain what was happening, but the activists began to attack them accusing them of practicing forced conversions. After arresting the men and Sumantra, the wife of the rev. Ramesh, the police questioned the 11 baptized. Along with the Hindu group, the police tried to coerce the faithful to file false charges against Pastor Ramesh on charges of forced conversions. The group refused, saying they wanted to be baptized as believers in Christ.

    "The anti-conversion law of 1968 - says Sajan George - serves as a pretext to intimidate Christians. A similar case occurred last August 31 in Khargone district, where the pastor Veersingh Kalesh received threats while he officiated a service of prayer. "

    But the Hindu persecution in Madhya Pradesh against Christians also has other forms, as the president of the GCIC reports: "The state government (led by the BJP - Bharatiya Janata Party, the Hindu nationalist party, ed) abuse federal laws to harass the Christian schools, putting them under pressure, interfering with their management "

    In March, the government has attempted to carry out a survey on the Christian population in Madhya Pradesh: number of schools, churches and priests, financial situation, foreign income and any political patronage, details of Christians with a criminal record. Following protests, the survey was blocked.
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    See also

    24/03/2014 INDIA
    Madhya Pradesh, two Pentecostal pastors arrested on false charges of forced conversions
    Hindu extremists charge the religious leaders, "guilty" of watching a movie about Jesus with a group of Christians. The police arrest them without checking veracity of the allegations. Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC): "Illegal and worrying detention close to general election".

    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."

    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.

    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.



    26/04/2017 15:18:00 INDIA
    Madhya Pradesh: After eight years, bishop absolved from charge of forced conversion

    Bishop Mathew Vaniakizhakkel is the emeritus bishop of Satna. Along with five Catholics, in 2009 he was denounced for conversion, conspiracy and disturbance of peace among religions. The accuser then repented and asked for forgiveness. Christian Leader: "Anti-conversion law is a tool to harassing Christians." 





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