Madhya Pradesh, an anti-Christian campaign by Hindu fundamentalists

Yesterday RSS activists attacked two young Christians: they were distributing religious material in front of their local church.  It is the fifth such attack in the state since January 25th.

Indore (AsiaNews) –Madhya Pradesh, appears to be at the centre of an anti-Christian campaign studied by Hindu fundamentalists.  In less than 10 days the Christian community in this central northern region witnessed five separate attacks.   The la test in this series of aggressions took place yesterdayevening in Pardeshipura, near the large commercial centre of Indore. Activists from the  Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh  (RSS, armed faction of the fundamentalist BJP party) beat two young Christians who were distributing religious reading material.    Speaking exclusively to AsiaNews, Raju  Sambal, who witnessed the incident said : "These youths were quietly distributing the pamphlets  when some people shouted at them from a distance with threats of beating them up and also launched an anti-Christian tirade".   The frightened youth fled to the Church for protection but their aggressors followed them and wounded them. Police have registered a case and are probing the matter; spokesperson for the Indian bishops Conference Fr. Babu Joseph, is requesting that "the authorities to take serious note of this attack, so that the security of the  minority Christian community is assured".

The region, however, has firmly been in the fundamentalists' sight since last January.  On the night between January 30t and 31 4 attacks were carried out.  The first in Betul, where Hindu militants desecrated a Pentecostal Church and then attempted to set it on fire.

The second episode occurred in Banapura, in the district of Hoshangabad. Unidentified men broke into the local Christian Church belonging to Friend's Church, setting fire to the main door.   The police whose headquarters lie directly in front of the Church responded immediately, but the aggressors escaped.  

The third episode also targeted Friend's Church, but this time its building in Itarsi. The intervention of the alarm avoided any serious damage.

Lastly, local sources said that in the district of Mandla an unidentified group of people tried to set fire to a church, but  police arrived in time to stop them. (NC)