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ICC Note:

Hindu activists attack Christians for being “anti-national.”

Christian Today India

April 28, 2006

Bhopal – Two Christian schools and a small Christian gathering were attacked by Hindu extremists in separate incidents in Madhya Pradesh, a stronghold of Hindu fundamentalists.

On April 5, a group of extremists, led by Dharma Jagran Sena (DJS) activists, barged into Christian High School operated by the Methodist Church of India at Naudara Bridge , accusing the school staff of forced conversions.

Ramakant Mishra, a former school teacher accused the school authorities of attempting to forcibly convert him to Christianity but, upon investigations by the Madhya Pradesh State Minorities Commission, the accusations turned out to be false.

On April 6, the Sena activists stormed into the Christ Church Boys School at Thaiyavali Chowk, in protest against the school’s decision of not declaring a holiday to mark Ram Navmi, a Hindu festival.

The Hindu activists physically assaulted staff members and even threatened principal Lady Matthew of dire consequences if they continued being “anti-national” and insensitive of the feelings of Hindus.

The third of the attack took place on April 7, when some local police stormed a prayer meeting at the residence of an Assemblies of God church member, Nitin Bergman, and hauled away seven Christians who were present there to police station.

According to the police, local Hindus had lodged a complaint against the Christians accusing them of illegal conversion under the Madhya Pradesh Dharma Swatantraya Adhiniyam (Freedom of Religion) Act.

Subsequently, when Rev. Kishan Singh, a pastor of the Assembly of God Church, heard of the incident, he proceeded immediately to the concerned police station with two dozen church members to protest against the incident and demand justice. However, as they approached the police station, a crowd of about 80 people shouting anti-Christian slogans blocked their way and began beating up the Christians using belts.

According to the All India Christian Council (AICC), the police failed to come to their rescue and even failed to arrest any of the attackers. Instead they were trying to investigate the complaints against the Christians.

In a memorandum submitted to the District Collector, Sanjay Dubey, the Christian community has called for the arrest of Dharam Jagran Sena members involved in the attacks.