Hindu radicals in India doused a Christian pastor and his wife in gasoline in an attempt to force them to convert, a leading Christian human rights group has reported.
According to Christian Solidarity Worldwide, the attack occurred on April 17, when two men posed as Christians and went to Berseba Church in Chhattisgarh state's Karanji Village in search of prayer.
The church's pastor, Deenbandhu Sameli, let the two men into the church and was then attacked and forced to chant "jai sri ram," which means "hail Lord Rama" (one of the incarnations of the Hindu god Vishnu). more >>
A pair of suspected Hindu radicals attacked and beat a pastor and his pregnant wife at a church in Chhattisgarh, India, and then set a Bible and other articles inside the church on fire.
PTI reported that the men had initially identified themselves as members of another Christian denomination, and were allowed inside the Bastar church due to their desire to pray on Sunday night. After they came in, however, they beat the pastor and his wife before pouring inflammable liquid on the Bible, setting it and other religious material ablaze.
Arun Pannalal, president of Chhattisgarh's Christian Forum, claimed that the two attackers, armed with a knife, hammer, and sword, are members of a radical Hindu organization. more >>
For an aspiring clothing and fashion designer to become famous overnight, all that needs to be done is have the Duchess of Cambridge wear their creation. This is what exactly happened to a relatively unknown Mumbai designer when the UK's Prince William and his wife Kate visited India and the small kingdom of Bhutan.
One of the highlights of the visit was a scheduled appearance by the royal couple in Mumbai's public cricket ground, per The Wall Street Journal. But it wasn't really the game of cricket that became the center of attention, but the bohemian-styled dress the Duchess wore. The said dress was courtesy of local designer, Anita Dongre, who now has gained immediate fame.
The Duchess is known for appreciating small-time designers, and as a fashion icon herself, she makes it a point to look good every single time she's out in public. But this time, she has taken one designer's fate into her own hands, immediately giving her the break she needs. And as a matter of fact, just hours after the cricket event wrapped up, Dongre's website reportedly crashed because of the unusual amount of traffic it got from people who may be looking to either see the dress online or purchase it themselves. more >>
Pope Francis and other Catholic bishops are praying for the release of Fr. Tom Uzhunnalil, an Indian priest thought to have been crucified by the Islamic State last month, in hope that radicals will be moved to change their ways.
"Dear brothers and sisters, in the hope given to us by the Risen Christ, I renew my appeal for the freeing of all kidnapped persons in armed conflict zones," the pope told the crowds in St. Peter's Square on Sunday at the Vatican.
"In particular, I wish to remember Salesian priest Tom Uzhunnalil, who was abducted in Aden, Yemen last March 4," he added. more >>
The brother of kidnapped Indian priest Father Thomas Uzhunnalil, who previously was believed to have been crucified by ISIS, has said that he is still unsure what happened to his brother, but is leaving everything in God's hands.
"I am waiting for clear good news. Until then, I will stay at home," 73-year-old Mathew Uzhunnalil told Catholic News Service in an interview published on Thursday.
"A lot of people are coming here (to the house) and even hold prayer meetings (for the safety of the priest)," he added. more >>
Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has said Catholic priest Tom Uzhunnalil, who was previously feared to have been crucified by the Islamic State on Good Friday, is alive, safe, and efforts are being organized for his release.
Catholic Bishops' Conference of India spokesman Father Gyanprakash Topno told the Press Trust of India that Swaraj met with CBCI delegates and told them that reports claiming Uzhunnalil has been killed are not true.
"Father Tom is safe and efforts are on for his release as early as possible," Topno said, conveying the minister's words, adding that the "government will facilitate the priest's safe return to India." more >>