08/22/2016, 14.32
INDIA
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New attacks against Christians in southern India

by Nirmala Carvalho

An Evangelical Christian is kicked and punched in Kerala. He was saved by friends, attracted by his shouts. Stones are thrown at a Pentecostal church in Karnataka. The faithful are living in fear, victims of violence perpetrated by Hindu ultra-nationalists.

Mumbai (AsiaNews) – Two new episodes of anti-Christian violence have been recently reported in southern India.

The first, on 18 August, involved an Evangelical Christian in Karnataka. The second occurred just two days later when Hindu extremists attacked a Pentecostal church in Kerala, damaging its roof, and causing panic among the faithful.

Speaking to AsiaNews, Sajan K George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), condemned the "growing intolerance and aggressions suffered by the small Pentecostal community. Christians are doing what is allowed them under the Constitution. "

These acts of violence in two Indian states are just the latest cases in a series against the Christian minority.

Evan Mamang Kipgen, a 26-year-old Evangelical, was attacked in Bangalore as he left the home of a friend, where he had gone to pray.

A member of the Thadou Christian Fellowship Church, he filed a complaint reporting that he was beaten and kicked by strangers.

The attackers spoke a language he did not understand, perhaps Kannada, which is widely spoken in southern India, and fled when, attracted by his shouts, the victim’s Christian friends came to see what was happening.

On 20 August, the Sharon Fellowship Town Church in Kodungallur, Thrissur District (Kerala), led by Rev Roy Shepherd, was attacked, most likely by members of the Hindu ultra-nationalist paramilitary group Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.

The pastor said that in the last five years, extremists have shown signs of impatience over Sunday prayers.

This morning he and his wife were summoned to the police station, where they filed their case. Rev Roy noted that members of his congregations now live in fear and insecurity.

Sajan K George complains that "In India pastors do not do anything illegal and do not create law and order problems. By contrast, anti-Christian leaders commit acts of violence without any provocation."

For the Christian leader, the administration itself "hounds the tiny and innocent Christian minority. All this is very worrying."

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