29 May 2017
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  • » 01/12/2015, 00.00

    INDIA

    Religious violence increases in India with two Christian communities affected

    Nirmala Carvalho

    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."

    Mumbai (AsiaNews) - "In secular India, freedom of worship is deteriorating for Christians. Two attacks on the same day, in two different states of the country, are proof that extremist groups feel encouraged to attack Christians because they are not restrained by the law," said Sajan K. George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), who spoke to AsiaNews after a Protestant and a Pentecostal community were attacked by Hindu radicals.

    One incident took place in Madhav Nagar (Bihar). "Militants from the local Bajrang Dal branch disrupted a prayer service involving some 50 people," said Sajan George.

    "Rev Kamlesh, who has led the community for almost six years, was pushed around, accused of practicing forced conversions. Some of the people present were beaten. The radicals also damaged musical instruments and part of the furniture."

    According to police, Bajrang Dal activists attacked the community because the clergyman was "luring" poor Hindus, and encouraging them to convert. However, "we found no evidence for these allegations," a police officer said. "Christians go there every week to pray and socialise with each other."

    The second incident occurred in Kushulanagar (State of Karnataka). As he has done for the past 15 years, Rev K J Mathai, a pastor with the Pentecostal Gospel in Action Fellowship Church, was celebrating Sunday service, along with 30 members of his congregation.

    Suddenly, a police jeep arrived. Officers told those present that they had received a complaint against the community that it was involved in "forced conversions".

    After waiting for the end of the service, police escorted the pastor and some of the faithful to the police station where they were questioned for several hours.

    Meanwhile, outside, a large number of Hindu extremists demonstrated against Christians.

    Eventually the religious leader was released, but police warned him to "be careful" when he conducts prayer services.

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    See also

    13/09/2011 INDIA
    Madhya Pradesh: Pentecostal pastors and 11 Hindus who wanted baptism arrested
    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."

    16/05/2017 10:35:00 INDIA
    Karnataka, Pentecostal Christians assaulted by Hindu extremists for 'forced conversions'

    The episodes of violence occurred at Ramamurthy Nagar and Lingarajapuram, suburbs of Bangalore. In both cases, the extremists attacked the Christians and burned brochures with Gospel songs. Sajan K George: "The only goal is to foment sectarian tensions."



    15/03/2017 09:55:00 INDIA
    India: after 48 years among poor children, Compassion International closes its doors

    The NGO has lost the license because of allegations of forced conversions. 76% of beneficiaries were Hindu children. The American Association operated throughout India through 589 partners, mostly Christian communities. The Narendra Modi government has imposed stricter controls on NGOs receiving funds from abroad.



    20/08/2004 UZBEKISTAN
    Former Christian inmates evangelise among prisoners


    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".



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