12/17/2014, 00.00
INDIA

Radical Hindus attack Christians singing Christmas carols

by Nirmala Carvalho
About 30 people assaulted the Pastor and the faithful of a Pentecostal community, including women and children, with sticks and clubs. The fundamentalists accuse the Christians of promising money to convert tribal people in the area. Police deny the allegations: "No forced conversion in the area, the Christians are innocent."

Mumbai (AsiaNews) - A group of radical Hindu has assaulted a community of  Pentecostal Christians  in Hyderabad (Andhra Pradesh and Telangana) with sticks and clubs. They were "guilty" of singing Christmas carols in the streets of the city's tribal Singareny Colony. The incident reportedly took place on 13 December and was confirmed by the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC) speaking to AsiaNews. Not even women and children were spared. The most seriously injured was the Rev. Bhim Nayak, pastor of the Banjara Baptist Church, who lost consciousness in the attack and is still recovering in a city hospital.

"Rev. Nayak - Sajan George, President of the GCIC told AsiaNews  - was accompanied by about 15 faithful. Together they were visiting the Christian families of the Singareny Colony and  singing Christmas carols. At one point, about 30 people surrounded their vehicle and accused them of practicing forced conversions, they smashed the windows of the vehicle, dragged them out and beat them. "

The situation in the area had been tense for some time. "The day before - the Christian leader said - a group of nationalist right-wing activists interrupted a Pentecostal conference in Ratlam, and brought representatives of the  local administration and police to the venue after accusing the organizers of converting tribal people, offering them money and other 'temptations'. "

However, the local Police Chief Superintendent, P.S. Ranawat, confirmed the innocence of the Christians: "We found no evidence of alleged conversions, forced or otherwise". He said "the officers had spoken to a few tribals, but none confirmed the allegation."

"In secular India - Sajan George said - the Christian community is a tiny minority. If these allegations were true, how come the Government Census shows a decline in the Christian population? Religious Freedom is our Constitutional Guarantee and an Human Right."

Printable version
CLOSE X
See also
Priest seriously injured in attack against Catholic Church
24/08/2004
Catholic college closed down in Madhya Pradesh. Bishop of Sagar: They want to drive out Christians
20/09/2017 12:26
Kathmandu: Christians have no right to a cemetery
03/09/2013
Orissa: More Christian homes set on fire, three bodies fished out of river
29/09/2008
Hindu nationalists attack a Christian prayer meeting in Chhattisgarh
07/12/2017 16:51