Three new reports of attacks on Christians in India’s southern state of Karnataka have led many Christian leaders to condemn the recent increase in attacks on Christians in the South Asian country. Hindu nationalist movements, which have been gaining traction across India in recent years, are suspected to be behind the recent blitz of attacks. Please pray for the right of religious freedom to be upheld for Christians in India.
9/5/2013 India (Asia News) – “I am outraged by these new anti-Christian incidents in Karnataka,” said Sajan George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC). “Religious freedom is non-negotiable,” he told AsiaNews as he criticised fresh acts of violence against minority Christians. Three new attacks occurred in the Indian state in August alone, all by Hindu extremists.
The latest occurred on 18 August in Chikkamalaguru District when Hindu radicals stormed the home of Ms Doddamma, a member of the Rehebothe Prarthana Mandir Pentecostal Church.
The group of men asked her why she visited Hindu families and who gave her permission to preach Christianity.
Faced with her silence, the men dragged her and her daughter to a nearby Hindu temple, where they ordered some holy men to reconvert them to Hinduism. Faced with their refusal, the Hindus brutally beat the two women, as others destroyed their home.
On 11 August, in Chitadurga District, Rev Paramajyothi, the pastor at an independent Pentecostal Church, was attacked by Hindu ultra-nationalists. Dragged out of his church, he was stripped him and beaten mercilessly under the eyes of his congregation and family. The religious leader suffered several injuries, including three broken teeth.
Once discharged from the hospital, he turned to the police in Bejikere for protection since the fundamentalists had issued threats against him, ordering him to leave the village. Police instead filed a complaint against the attackers, as well as the clergyman.
On 3 August, 50 Hindu extremists violently attacked Somashekarwas, an Evangelical Christian in Bijapur District. Pulling his hair and ripping his clothes, they ordered him to reconvert to Hinduism. They also swore at his wife Kusumabhai and ordered the couple to leave the village if they were not willing to renounce Christianity. Because of their refusal, the attackers reported them to the police in Nedugundhi, accusing them of practicing forced conversions.