NEW DELHI (Compass Direct News) – More than two years after losing relatives and property in anti-Christian violence, there is no sense of relief among survivors in India’s Orissa state, as many are still ostracized and pressured to “return” to Hinduism, according to a private investigation.
“Despite the state administration’s claim of normalcy,” the preliminary report of a fact-finding team states, “a state of lawlessness and utter fear and sense of insecurity” prevails among Christians of Kandhamal district, which saw a major anti-Christian bloodbath in 2008.
The team, consisting of local attorney Nicholas Barla and another identified only as Brother Marcus, along with rights activists Jugal Kishore Ranjit and Ajay Kumar Singh, visited four villages in three blocks of Kandhamal on Nov. 5. more >>
NEW DELHI – The head of the worldwide Anglican Communion has expressed concern over the increase in violence against Christian minorities in India.
On his visit to Kolkatta on Saturday, Archbishop of Canterbury Dr. Rowan Williams said he would speak with leaders of other religious communities urging them to shun violence and promote peace.
“I am as concerned about the attacks on Christians as I would have been about attacks on people of other communities," stated the Anglican leader while interacting with the press. more >>
A Pentecostal pastor in the southern Indian state of Karnataka was arrested on charges of forceful conversion on Sunday.
Pastor Shivanda Siddi, 45, was arrested while conducting worship service at Gnanodaya Assemblies of God Church, reported the Global Council of Indian Christians.
According to the advocacy group, about five people belonging to a Hindu extremist organization disrupted the service and began to physically attack the pastor. more >>
Hundreds of Muslims in the divided region of Kashmir took to the streets Monday night in violent protest over the reported desecration of Qurans in the United States.
Over a dozen people have reportedly died in the clash that ensued between police and protesters, and a Christian private school was set ablaze in the volatile Himalayan region.
While violence and protests in Kashmir have been ongoing since June, Monday’s protests shifted from India’s rule over the disputed region to anti-Quran actions in the United States, where footage was taken of demonstrators tearing out pages from Islam's sacred text over the weekend. more >>
NEW DELHI (Compass Direct News) – A Hindu nationalist legislator was arrested yesterday after a court pronounced him guilty of playing a major role in the murder of a Christian during anti-Christian carnage in Orissa state’s Kandhamal district in August 2008.
The Fast Track Court II in Kandhamal convicted Manoj Pradhan of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the murder of a 30-year-old Christian, Bikram Nayak, who succumbed to head injuries two days after an attack by a mob in the Raikia area of Budedi village on Aug. 25, 2008.
Judge Chitta Ranjan Das sentenced Pradhan to six years of rigorous imprisonment for “culpable homicide not amounting to murder” under Section 304 of the Indian Penal Code and imposed a fine of 15,500 rupees (US$335) for setting houses ablaze. more >>
NEW DELHI (Compass Direct News) – A visually impaired Christian and his friend accused drunken Buddhists of abducting and assaulting them last week after the blind volunteer distributed relief material in a Buddhist-majority town in a region of India devastated by recent floods.
The attackers are still at large after the assault last Wednesday in the town of Leh in Jammu and Kashmir state’s Ladakh region, where flooding and landslides destroyed hundreds of houses and killed around 200 people on Aug. 6.
The attackers, identified as members of the Ladakh Buddhist Association (LBA), one of the region’s largest and most influential Non-Governmental Organizations, abducted Ram Kumar Thapa, Stanzin Chosphel and his pregnant wife Putali Sherpa because of their Christian faith and beat the men, the victims said. more >>