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  • » 11/20/2017, 14.25

    INDIA

    Sajan K George: arrested Christians, India’s vulnerable

    Nirmala Carvalho

    On November 19 some Pentecostals arrested in Madhya Pradesh; on November 15 an evangelical in Chhattisgarh. The leader of the Global Council of Indian Christians seeks protection for the celebrations of November 26, Solemnity of Christ the King.

    Mumbai (AsiaNews) - Some Pentecostal Christians were arrested on November 19 in Damoh District in Madhya Pradesh. Earlier on November 15, an evangelical Christian was stopped in the district of Balod in Chhattisgarh. Reporting the events to AsiaNews, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (Gcci),  Sajan K George says these episodes, "reflect the fear and vulnerability of the Christian population in India."

    Regarding the arrest of the Pentecostals in Madhya Pradesh, the Christian leader speaks of "growing intimidation by active extremist groups in the state". Then he adds: "It is really encouraging that the Madhya Pradesh High Court has rebuked the police and ordered the opening of an investigation into the case of children who were attacked."

    He refers to another episode of intolerance in the Indian state. On October 23, police arrested two Christians and charged them with kidnapping and forced conversion of minors. Anita Joseph, 50, and Amrit Kumar, 51, were arrested by agents at the Indore railway station and charged by Hindu activists Jagran Manch [Hindu Parishad affiliate of Vhp - ed] for abducting seven children to take them to Mumbai and convert them. The two accomplices rejected the charges and reported that the sole purpose of the trip was participation in a Christian religion course. Investigations by the same agents confirmed that the parents of the children were aware of the reasons for the trip and had given them consent.

    After the arrest, the children were accompanied by Childline [An NGO, which deals with the protection of children and the recovery of minors from the streets, ed]. They stayed there for a week without the opportunity to see their relatives. The situation was unlocked only thanks to the intervention of the High Court, which ordered their release and delivery to the families.

    Sajan K George recalls that "the Church will celebrate the Solemnity of Christ the King on Sunday [November 26th]. It will be celebrated with great grandeur by the small Pentecostal groups, even in a climate of intimidation and fear created by local extremists." "We appeal - he adds - to the authorities, so that they guarantee the security of prayer services and our religious rites. Religious festivals have always been respected by people of all faiths and conducted in a quiet and harmonious way. Unfortunately, religious intolerance is deteriorating public order and endangering the life and property of Pentecostal Christians."

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    See also

    16/02/2018 10:24:00 INDIA
    Madhya Pradesh, Pentecostals sentenced to 6 months in prison for 'forced conversions'

    13 convicted include a vision impaired couple. Most Pentecostals are day laborers. The government led by Hindu nationalists "arrests Pentecostal Christians with groundless imputations".



    21/09/2017 16:55:00 INDIA
    Madhya Pradesh, Catholics and Protestants denounce Hindutva targeting of the poor.

    A college that hosted tribal students since 1997 closed. The police arrived with five trucks full of Hindu extremists, scaring the children. The college is accused of forced conversions. Sajan K George: "Nationalists are against Catholics because they want to continue to exploit dalit and tribal."



    19/12/2017 17:56:00 INDIA
    Uttar Pradesh: Hindus want Christmas banned in Catholic schools, claim it lures Hindu students to Christianity

    The Hindu Jagran Manch is a far-right nationalist group linked to chief minister Yogi Adityanath. Young Catholics are reluctant to sing Christmas carols outdoors after the attack on seminarians and priests in Madhya Pradesh.



    02/03/2017 13:13:00 INDIA
    Madhya Pradesh, Hindu radicals interrupt a mixed marriage in a church

    The radicals belong to the group of extreme right-wing Hindu Vahini. They accuse Christians of wanting to convert the groom, of Hindu religion. The couple was forced to postpone the wedding and celebrate with a Vedic ritual. The state has a law against forced conversions that discriminates against minorities.

     



    13/12/2017 14:09:00 INDIA
    Four Pentecostals arrested in Madhya Pradesh, they were praying for Christmas

    Rev Karan was among those detained. Police broke into Bethel Church and stopped Advent prayers. For Sajan K George, "In small remote areas, Jesus is the only refuge".





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