12/13/2011, 00.00
INDIA
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Sajan George for Christmas, an end to violence against Christians

Three new anti-Christian attacks in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, perpetrated by the Hindu nationalist forces. Destroyed statues, images of Jesus torn apart, a pastor and some of his faithful stoned. The President of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), denounces the climate of impunity enjoyed by perpetrators, compared to insecurity and oppression of the Christian minority.
Mumbai (AsiaNews) - The Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC) has asked the Indian authorities to "provide security to the vulnerable Christian minority" and "ensure that the nationalist forces do not propagate their reign of terror during the Christmas period." The appeal launched by Sajan K George, president of the GCIC, comes after a fresh round of anti-Christian attacks in the three states of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, at the hands of Hindu nationalist forces.

On the night of December 12 last in the district of Mangalore (Karnataka) a group of unknown persons threw rocks at the grotto of St. Anthony of Padua, breaking the glass case and damaging the statue of the saint. The grotto is located across from St. Vincent Ferrer Church and this incident brings to 42 the number of cases of anti-Christian violence in Karnataka alone.

The day before, on December 11, masked men stopped the prayer service at New Fellowship Gospel Church (Andhra Pradesh) and started to throw stones pastor Bangaraiah. Seeing that the man was seriously bleeding from a wound to the head, the faithful sounded the alarm, while the attackers fled undisturbed. Rev. Bangaraiah was transported to hospital in the State where he received 14 stitches to the face and head. The aggression has met with the complete indifference of the authorities, despite there being a police station a few steps from the Church in Nalgonda.

On December 9, in the village Jhabua's Jhaida Andhra Pradesh, the pastor of the independent Faith Calvary Church Vasunia Ramesh had organized a day of prayer and fasting for women. During the service, several activists of the RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) and VHP (Vishwa Hindu Parishad) have surrounded the house and began throwing stones at those present. Then, they set fire to three Bibles, tore up all the Christian religious texts, smashed an image of Jesus and destroyed a wooden cross. Some of them physically assaulted an elderly woman and stole the golden objects that she was wearing. That same evening, the pastor was again beaten and accused of practicing forced conversions.

"These attacks - said Sajan K George - are a clear sign of impunity enjoyed by Hindu extremists. These forces attack and insult Christians on a regular basis, which are the only ones to be imprisoned without having committed any crime. The Christian minority is living in a climate of oppression. "

The president of the GCIC concludes: "With only two weeks to the birth of Jesus, we ask the authorities to increase security measures, so that Christians can celebrate Christmas in peace. Are we second class citizens to be treated this way? Or are we doing something unconstitutional in professing our faith? ".

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