Giving hope to persecuted Christians since 1995
Select Page

Catholic groups attacked by Hindu tribals on island of Majuli

ICC Note: “Never come back again and if you do come back, we will cut you into pieces and throw you into the Brahmaputra.”

by Nirmala Carvalho
01/31/09 Majuli, India (AsiaNews) – It was supposed to be a day of celebration, but instead it turned into the latest example of violence by Hindu radicals against Christians and the conversion of tribals. Hundreds of Catholic faithful were beaten, humiliated, mocked, and driven away.

On January 24, a few hundred Catholics crossed the Brahmaputra river to get to Majuli…

The small community of the island, mostly made up of Mishing tribals, was celebrating the priestly ordination of the first Catholic priest born in Majuli, Hemonto Pegu. For the occasion, the pastor, Fr. Bartholomew Bhengra, had invited the priests and faithful of the nearby communities to participate in the celebration presided over by Joseph Aind, Salesian bishop of Dibrugarh.

The community of Mariani – the largest group at the ordination, with about 400 people – was stopped by a group of about 600 people near the boat dock. The pastor of St. Antony, Fr. Caesar Henry, and the rector of St. Xavier High School, Fr. G.P. Amalraj, were on an off-road vehicle in front of the bus. They were immediately pulled off the vehicle and beaten. The attackers shouted, “Here are the missionaries, kill these dogs,” beating and kicking the two priests. Then they went to the bus, made the parishioners get off, and began to beat the men mercilessly. The crowd continued to shout insults: “you dogs, you beef eaters [editor’s note: Hindus are vegetarians], this is the land of the Hindus and you have no right to come here! Why do you come to convert the tribals?”

After the violence, the people were forced to walk 5 kilometers to get to the boat dock, while the crowd continued to insult them on their walk for about an hour… [Go To Full Story]