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Attack against Indian Christians in Maharashtra

By James Varghese
11/7/07 INDIA (ANS) — Fresh violence has erupted in the Thane district of the Indian state of Maharashtra on Sunday morning (November 4) as Christian tribals were allegedly targeted for attending a prayer meeting, the Times of India has reported.

The newspaper said that six believers were assaulted at Kuttal village in Wada taluka, which is about 125 kilometers away from Mumbai (Bombay).

Hindu radical elements belonging to the VHP Bajrang Dal and the Vanvasi Kalyan Parishad (Vanvasi Welfare Association) were said to have thrashed a new believer named Vishnu Barad, his wife, and other members of his family for attending the prayer meeting.

The victims were treated in the state run government hospital and were discharged. However, the pastor was detained when he went to the local police station to register a complaint against the radical elements.

“The tribal belt of Thane (rural) district is under continuous attacks from the radical elements. These fundamentalists’ elements often accuse the Christians of alluring poor Hindu tribals and forcibly converting them to Christianity “, said Dr Sajan K George, National President of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC).

Two weeks ago, GCIC reported the attack on Pastor Victor Pereira, from the Tribal belt of Thane, Pastor Victor suffered a broken rib. It has been brought to the notice of GCIC’s legal advisors that the Believers attending Pastor Victor’s church were charged under Section 107 for disrupting peace in the area by their worship and other activities.