» 06/22/2012, 00.00
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."
Mumbai (AsiaNews) - The
anti-Christian attacks that are occurring in states led by Hindu nationalists
are "shameful" and show "a disturbing pattern: violence and
appalling social pressures, to limit religious freedom." This is the
opinion of Sajan George, president of the Global
Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), after
two further incidents occurred yesterday against Christian communities in
Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh. Both countries are ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), an ultra-nationalist party that supports the radical movements
of the Sangh Parivar, who are responsible for frequent anti-Christian violence.
Yesterday morning in the village of
Pati, about 150km from the city of Indore (Bhalwani district, Madhya Pradesh),
the police arrested the minister Arjun along with one of the faithful of his
church, named Rakesh, without any reason. The two were conducting a prayer
meeting, along with 75 other Christians. However, in the afternoon, the agents
released the men without formulating any charge.
A similar episode occurred in
Keshavapura (Karnataka): on the complaint of activists of the Sangh Parivar,
the police arrested the Pentecostal pastor Manjunath and the Evangelists Stella
and Bhavani. The three were distributing leaflets about Christianity at the bus
station in Hubli, when members of the ultra-nationalist Hindu group approached
them, insulted them using very foul language and snatched the leaflets from
them. Then, the activists led them to the nearby police station, where they
remain in custody. The Rev. Manjunath has guided the Indian Church of Christ
(ICC) for seven years, and his community is composed of 25 worshipers.
Madhya Pradesh is one of six Indian
states which have an anti-conversion law. Karnataka has none, but for some time
has been attempting to pass one. "The Christian community", Sajan
George emphasized, "is even more vulnerable where there are such laws. The
ultra-nationalist Hindu groups enjoy the protection of the authorities, and
this encourages them to violate every aspect of the life of a Christian, even
the most intimate and private. But the Constitution of India requires
governments to protect the free exercise of all religions, including
minorities. And this also applies to the states led by the BJP."
Press conference on anti-Christian violence disrupted by Hindu activists
A group of men forced their way into the conference room shouting and thrashing the place. The two women raped on May 28 for not abjuring Christianity were present at the press conference.
Karnataka: police arrest Pentecostal pastor beaten by Hindu extremists
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.
Madhya Pradesh: Hindu extremists destroy statues for Via Crucis
A lorry carrying votive statues is attacked. For Jhabua bishop, it is an act of intimidation against the Christian minority. Driver and assistants are hurt. Attackers are still at large.
India state elections: ten Christians running for office in Madhya Pradesh
BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh begins voting on 27 November. Some Christians are running as candidates in a number of parties.
Despite curfew a hundred homes and two churches set on fire overnight in Orissa
Christians are scared of night-time attacks. Radical Hindus attack police, guilty in their eyes of jailing some of their fellow co-religionists involved in violence in past days. Christians forced to reconvert are also forced to burn churches and homes of other Christians. Terrorism sponsored by the state of Orissa comes in for harsh criticism.
CHINA â€“ VATICAN
Mgr Peter Shao Zhumin under guard in a Beijing hospital
He underwent an ear operation. He was banned from attending the funeral of an elderly witness to the faith, Fr John Wang, who spent 12 years of in a prison camp. The bishop’s secretary was also taken to prevent him from attending Fr Wang’s funeral.
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