Radicals Forcefully Detain Christians Gathered for Worship in Southern India
11/10/2021 India (International Christian Concern) – According to Asia News, radical Hindu nationalists in India’s Karnataka state forcefully detained a group of Christians who simply gathered for worship. The radicals called police to the scene and falsely accused the Christian of engaging in forced religious conversions to justify their attack.
On Sunday, November 8, at least 30 Christians in Maratha Colony, a town located in the Belgavi District, were attacked by members of the Sri Ram Sena, a Hindu nationalist group. The radicals broke into the worship gathering, disrupting the service, and accused Pastor Lema Cherian of engaging in forced religious conversions.
The radicals then locked the pastor and other Christians in the worship hall as they contacted police. Once on the scene, the police broke up the incident and sent everyone home.
Following the incident, the leader of the Sri Ram Sena slammed the government for “failing to curb such illegal activities.”
“I was just leading a prayer with a group of interested people, like every Sunday,” Pastor Cherian told Asia News. “We have not forced anyone to come here; we are just practicing the rites of our religion.”
In Karnataka, attacks on Christians have dramatically increased following the state government’s announcement that they plan to introduce an anti-conversion law. While Karnataka has still not enacted the promised anti-conversion law, many radical Hindu nationalists on the ground are acting as if the law already exists.
“Right-wing groups in Karnataka feel emboldened by the proposal presented by the state government to strengthen its anti-conversion law,” Sajan K. George, President of the Global Council of Indian Christians, told Asia News.
“These are the usual false accusations,” George said, speaking about the incident in Martha Colony.
In states where similar anti-conversion laws are enacted, including Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, and Uttarakhand, they are widely abused. Radical nationalists falsely accuse Christians of forcefully converting individuals to Christianity to justify harassment and assault. Local police often overlook violence perpetrated against Christians due to false accusations of forced conversion.
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