ASIA NEWS REPORT:
by Nirmala Carvalho
2012, 20 incidents perpetrated in the State by ultra-nationalist Hindus. The
latest victims are six Pentecostal Christian families (Gadag district) and an
evangelical community (Bijapur district), attacked in the privacy of their
homes. False accusations of forced conversion trigger violence.
Mumbai (AsiaNews) - There have been 20 incidents of violence against
Christians in Karnataka since 2012. The script says Sajan George, the Global
Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), is always the same: "systematic
attacks against the Christian community; blatant invasions of privacy by Hindu
extremists in the sacred intimacy of homes, physical and verbal violence against
a helpless and inoffensive community ". According to the president of the GCIC,
they are "serious violations of the rights of every Indian citizen, and a
debasement of human dignity of Christians." To stop these incidents, the
Protestant leader has also appealed to Pranab Mukherjee, India's new president,
to "protect and defend the rights enshrined in our Constitution." In his speech
yesterday at the official inauguration, the newly elected head of state has
promised to act as guarantor and guardian of the Indian Charter.
two attacks date to July 22. In the first case, the victims are six families of
Gypsy Church, a Pentecostal Church of Gadag district. A dozen
activists of the Sangh Parivar raided the home of a Christian, during a prayer
service. Hindu nationalists have beaten and insulted those present, accusing
them of practicing forced conversions. Three faithful - Lokappa Badagar,
Sagarappa Bagadar and Kamalavva Badagar - were seriously injured and admitted to
a local hospital. Meanwhile, Hindus have registered a complaint with the police
in Gadag, declaring that Christians were practicing forced
Two days later, activists of the Bajrang Dal and
the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP, Sangh Parivar affiliates) urged the
police to detain the six families. The agents arrested 14 Christians, and then
released them the next morning. However, the police have opened an investigation
into the families.
The second incident happened in the village of
Muddebehal (Bijapur district), against the Evangelical Church of Salvation
Rev. Manjappa Byadagi. Led by a man named Ashok, activists of the Rashtriya
Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) raided the church, beating the faithful and
destroying the Bibles. After the attack, the Hindus paid a man to declare that
he was forced to convert to Christianity. Recording the false testimony in a
video, the activists phoned the police to report the Muddebehal Christians. At
that point, the inspector Basavaraj Lamani arrested pastor Byadgi, his wife,
young son and one church member. After a day of detention, the officers released
the four Christians, but ordered them to stop their prayer services.
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