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    » 07/20/2013, 00.00

    INDIA

    Tamil Nadu, a Pentecostal pastor in prison for baptizing a woman



    Hindu extremist Rashtriya Sawayamsevak Sangh (RSS) lay false charges of forced conversions and denounce the Reverend to the police. Christian leader: “persecution of Christians has become a lawful practice in this state."

    Mumbai (AsiaNews) - A Pentecostal pastor of Tamil Nadu is in jail for two days for having converted - with her consent - a woman of 30 years. Members of the Hindu nationalist group Rashtriya Sawayamsevak Sangh (RSS) accused the man of practicing forced conversions and complained to the local police.

    The arrested man is Rev. R. Reuben, pastor of the End Time Church of Gundur (suburb of Trichy). This Pentecostal Church was founded 30 years ago and now has about 250 members. On 18 July, the pastor administered baptism to a woman of her community, who had asked him to convert her to  Christianity.

    RSS activists denounced the episode to the inspector Siva Subramanyam, of Srinangam police, arguing that the river Cauvery - where she had been baptised - had been contaminated and that the pastor was converting people by force. At that point, the officers proceeded to arrest the religious leader.


    According to Sajan George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), what happened is yet more evidence that "religious intolerance in Tamil Nadu, when perpetrated by Hindu extremists and nationalists, becomes lawful if directed against the Christian minority."

    In October 2002, the Government of Tamil Nadu introduced its anti-conversion law. The decree was canceled in May 2004, one month after the defeat in the state elections of the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP), the Hindu nationalist party that supports extremist groups like the RSS. (NC)

     

     

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    See also

    21/09/2012 INDIA
    Religious intolerance grows in Tamil Nadu, 13 cases in 2012
    The denunciation comes from the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC). Under pressure from Hindu nationalists, a local administrator denies the status as a place of worship to a community hall legally built by a Christian community. Usually, the Tamil Nadu is known as an example of harmony and development among the Hindu, Christian and Muslim communities.

    13/08/2013 INDIA
    Tamil Nadu Chief Minister states Dalit Christians are equal to Dalit Hindu
    J Jayalalitha, from a Hindu Brahmin family, has asked the Indian Prime Minister to also grant Dalit Christians the rights provided by the castes law. According to the Constitution on the Scheduled Caste (SC) only Hindu, Sikh and Buddhist "untouchable" have access to economic, educational and social benefits.

    15/11/2008 INDIA
    50,000 Hindu fundamentalists demonstrate in favor of religious intolerance
    The government of Orissa permits a march calling for "an end to the conversions." Meanwhile, in Bangalore, three Christians are arrested under the false accusation of inducing conversion. The AICC provides updated figures on anti-Christian violence.

    27/09/2004 INDIA
    Violence will not stop Christian witness, Bishop Fernandez says

    As attacks against Christians continue, the central government pledges protection but local authorities cover for fundamentalists.



    01/02/2005 INDIA
    Widow of murdered missionary receives award
    Hindu fundamentalist groups protest the award given to Gladys Staines.



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