04/09/2013, 00.00
INDIA

Tamil Nadu, more anti-Christian violence: Pentecostal church torched

Nirmala Carvalho
Two young faithful were able to extinguish the flames, avoiding tragedy. Leaders of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC): "Hindu Nationalist groups foment anti-Christian hatred. The construction of new places of worship also at risk".

Mumbai (AsiaNews) - Religious intolerance against the Christian minority is intensifying in Tamil Nadu.  Overnight a group of unknown people set fire to Bethel Bible Church, a Pentecostal church in the village Puthasanthai (district of Namakal). Thanks providential intervention of two members of the community, who were sleeping in the building, the fire was extinguished before demolishing the place of worship. Rev. Paul Arguman reported the matter to the police, who have placed surveillance units around the church and "vowed" to bring the perpetrators to justice.

According to Sajan K George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), the Hindu Munnani, the Hindu nationalist religious organization in favor of the anti-conversion laws is responsible for the growing religious intolerance in Tamil Nadu, by "inciting hatred against Christians."

"Discrimination - said the GCIC  leader - also targets on places of worship. In Kanyakumari district written permission is required from the district collector [district administrator, ed] to build a church or a prayer room. However, very often authorities deny these documents, or leave them pending for a long time. "

The attempted arson attack is the third anti-Christian incident in 2013 in the Indian State. In 2012, the GCIC recorded 13. The anti-conversion law in Tamil Nadu approved in 2002 was repealed in 2005 by the Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa.

 

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