08/31/2011, 00.00
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Tamil Nadu theft, destruction, beatings and arrests of Protestant Christians

by Nirmala Carvalho
The activists of the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) accused them of forced conversions. Church demolished, two motorcycles destroyed, a camera and six bikes stolen. Sajan K George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC): "Here is the insecurity in which the Christian minority in secular India live."
Mumbai (AsiaNews) - In Thurivarur district (Tamil Nadu), some local activists of the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party, the ultra-nationalist Hindu party) beat the pastor Ramados Williams and his wife. Then, they stormed the Bethel Prayer House, where the man administers to the community: they demolished the church, destroyed two motorcycles, stole six bicycles, a camera and a cell phone. Finally, the activists dragged the pastor, his wife and some members of the community to the police station, where they were charged under sections 147, 148, 352, 427 and 506 of the Penal Code. The Christians spent six days in jail until they were released on bail. The facts date back to last Aug. 13, but the news was not known until recently.

Sajan K George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), said: "That very day government authorities had visited the church, measured the area on which it stands and said that everything was in order, and belonged to the pastor. Local activists rejected the verdict of the authorities: after two hours they attacked those present and the violence began. This is the insecurity in which the vulnerable Christian minority in secular India lives. The attackers are free and innocent victims arrested and imprisoned. "

The pastor administered had worked in the area for 15 years. In June 2005 he bought a small piece of land, on which he built the Bethel Prayer House and a refuge. Local BJP activists have insistently ordered the pastor to stop practising his faith. In 2007, they tried to burn the church and threatened to kill him if he did not stop the work of conversion in the village.

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