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Christians Fear BJP Massive Hate Campaign Will Lead To Violence
“Christians Who Proselytize to Be Tried Under Laws Equivalent to Homicide”

You are free to disseminate the following news. We request that you reference ICC (International Christian Concern) and include our web address Contact Jeff King President, 301-989-1708, [email protected]

(2006-08-14) The Washington-DC based human rights group, International Christian Concern (ICC) has just become informed that a large anti-Christian hate campaign has been launched by the Hindu nationalist/anti-Christian BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) in Tirupati (Andhra Pradesh state).

The BJP alleges that Christian missionaries are proselytizing in the town and are agitating followers against Christians in the Tirupati area where preaching of any other religion is “banned”.
Tirupati is revered as the abode of Hindu god Venkateshwara, (believed to be one of the incarnations of god Vishnu). It is supposedly the richest temple in the country. It is believed that the offerings and collections at this temple are second only to those of the Vatican City Church .
Hindu fundamentalist groups have staged several rallies to highlight the alleged conversion activities of Christians inside the temple town. A huge protest march was initiated by local Hindu fundamentalist groups on August 10.

According to a report by ICC, more than 5,000 people participated in the protest and an anti-conversion committee was formed during the rally.

A leader of the rally alleged: “Christian missionaries are luring Hindus into Christianity by offering them bait in the form of food and shelter”. He also threatened that if conversions were not stopped, the anti Christian campaign would “become more rigorous”.

The trouble began in June following detention of four Catholic nuns by police after a mob of 40 people objected to their visit in the local hospital to distribute fruits and pray for the sick on June 27. The nuns had been visiting the hospital for the last 20 years. They were detained at the police station from 8 pm to 10 pm. According to a Supreme Court ruling, women should not be taken into custody between sunset and sunrise.

The All India Christian Council (AICC) has written to the National Commission for Minorities requesting it to intervene and bring to end the “hate campaign” against Christians that could spark anti Christian violence.

A State government official was quoted on Aug. 10 saying that “cases would be booked against those found guilty of proselytizing on the Hills under stringent laws, which would be made equivalent to those for homicide”.

Anti-conversion and anti proselytizing laws have no place in a modern democracy such as India . The Indian Federal government needs to investigate into the legality of these laws that are attempting to bar Christians from bus stops, train stations, and hospitals in the area said Jeff King, President of ICC.