12/07/2010, 00.00
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Systematic attacks against Christians in Karnataka

by Nirmala Carvalho
Hindu extremists threaten and attack Christians, even within the churches. Then they have them arrested by the police with false accusations of proselytism. Sajan George: we need the intervention of the authorities, the anti-conversion laws-are been considered in Karnataka to attack Christians.

Mumbai (AsiaNews) - More attacks against Christians in Karnataka. On December 5 groups of Hindu extremists have made four different attacks against Protestant Christians.

The first took place against the Gipsy Prayer Hall in Bangalore in the Kenger Upanagara slum. Here, the extremists attacked a church while during Sunday service, terrorizing and threatening about 50 participants. The district of Shimoga was the scene of two other incidents. The Hindu extremists beat up and dragged four Christians out of their churches, and then had them arrested by police on false charges of proselytism.

The fourth incident targeted the Christians of the Pentecostal Church of Jyothinagar (Bangalore). A group of 40 extremists surrounded the building during services, throwing stones and shouting anti-Christian slogans.

Sajan George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians, said: "The four attacks on the same day in Karnataka is reflective of the insecurity of the vulnerable minority Christian community and more importantly  this is an indication of the climate of fear ,f persecution and harassment and terror in which Christians must practice their faith in this Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-governed state". “The Bajrang Dal activists continue to attack, beat and threaten the Christians. This is a real challenge to our secular democracy. The situation could become worse if the authorities do not intervene. "

"The allegations of proselytizing of the Sangh Parivar [Hindu extremists] against Christians are baseless and false". "The law of Karnataka on freedom of religion aims to avoid forced conversions, but it is often manipulated and used to criminalize conversions in general and is used by Hindu extremists with the complicity of local police to attack Christians."

"The sad thing - says Sajan - is that such laws were passed not only in PBJ led states, but also in states led by the Congress Party [PC]. For example, the Himachal Anti-Conversion Law was approved during the government of Pc. "

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