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    » 12/17/2014, 00.00

    INDIA

    Radical Hindus attack Christians singing Christmas carols

    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."

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    See also

    16/05/2015 INDIA
    Chhattisgarh: government official forbids missionaries to be called "father"
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    16/12/2014 INDIA
    Christmas reconversions, police in Uttar Pradesh "will stop Hindu radicals"
    Security force would take "strict actions" against the organisers. The paramilitary group Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) planned to convert 4,000 Christian and 1,000 Muslim families next 25th December.

    03/09/2013 NEPAL
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    The measure, which was to "preserve the sanctity of the soil near the Hindu shrine of Pashupatinath" compels a minority to seek burial sites concealed in the forest or near the rivers. Christian leader: "We fear that the Nepalese Hindu faith profane our graves." The government does not respond to the requests of the faithful.

    24/08/2004 INDIA
    Priest seriously injured in attack against Catholic Church


    28/10/2014 INDIA
    Uttar Pradesh: 310 Christians "reconverted" to Hinduism with threats
    It is the third incident in less than two months in the northern Indian state. Brahmins (priests), and Hindu radicals have "sacrificed" Bibles to their gods and given sacred books to the Christians to validate the ceremony. Christian leader: "alarming trend".



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