» 04/09/2013, 00.00
Tamil Nadu, more anti-Christian violence: Pentecostal church torched
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
"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Nadu approved in 2002 was repealed in 2005 by the Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa.
Orissa, tally following 3 months of violence against Christians
118 deaths have been certified, but it is feared that there have been at least 500, with many bodies being hidden or cremated. More than 54,000 have been displaced. The violence continues, although with less frequency, in part because of the impunity enjoyed by the attackers.
Anti-Christian violence continues in Orissa
Three villages are attacked in Kandhamal district. Central government sends in ten more paramilitary companies. Christians complain about police and government inaction. A Clarist nun dies from malaria contracted in the forest where she had fled; she wanted to go back to her work in Orissa. A Protestant church is attacked in Tamil Nadu.
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The fire was set at night, when there were no police to guard the building. For the Divine Word priest, "it is a clear indication that the area is still simmering" and that the mission "is under constant surveillance." In spite of the latest episode of violence, Fr. Edward is not leaving the village of Padampur: "we have to breathe life of hope into these people."
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