North east India has a high concentration of Christians, but there are fears that this fact is being exploited by criminals disguising themselves as missionaries and evangelists in order to traffic children.
Last month, over 70 such malnourished children from Manipur, Nagaland, and other north eastern states were rescued from a home at Kuzhithurai in Kanyakumari district.
Families, particularly in Manipur, are reportedly sending their children off into the hands of traffickers who promise to give them an education or employment, as highlighted recently by the Times of India. more >>
There were protests by Hindu groups on Tuesday as an EU delegation arrived in India’s Orissa state to visit areas where dozens of Christians were killed in 2008.
Five members of the radical Hindu Banjrang Dal group were arrested during protests at the airport of state capital Bhubaneshwar as the 11-member delegation touched down, according to the Indo-Asian News Service.
The delegation, led by deputy chief of mission in the Spanish embassy Ramon Moreno, will meet victims of the attacks and government officials to discuss efforts to restore security in the area and resettle the thousands who lost their homes in the violence. more >>
NEW DELHI (Compass Direct News) – Weary of international scrutiny of troubled Kandhamal district in Orissa state, officials yesterday finally allowed delegates from the European Union (EU) to visit affected areas – as long as they do no fact-finding.
A team of 13 diplomats from the EU was to begin its four-day tour of Kandhamal district yesterday, but the federal government had refused to give the required clearance to visit the area, which was wracked by anti-Christian violence in 2008. A facilitator of the delegation said that authorities then reversed themselves and yesterday gave approval to the team.
The team plans to visit Kandhamal early next month to assess the state government’s efforts in rehabilitating victims and prosecuting attackers in the district, where a spate of anti-Christian violence in August-September 2008 killed over 100 people and burned 4,640 houses, 252 churches and 13 educational institutions. more >>
An evangelistic festival headlined by Franklin Graham ended Sunday in southeast India with an overflow crowd of nearly 85,000 people.
On the final night of the Chennai Hope Festival, held in the southeast coastal city of Chennai, more than 1,600 people came forward to accept Jesus Christ as their savior, according to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Volunteers quickly mobilized to connect those who came forward with a new church home.
Graham on Sunday preached about the story of the prodigal son and how only Jesus Christ can fill the emptiness of our souls. The crowd responded to the message with prayer and by coming forward to accept Jesus. more >>
Authorities in India's Orissa state are reportedly forcing Christian refugees out of the makeshift camps ahead of a visit this month by a European Union delegation.
A 10-member EU delegation is due to tour the riot-hit district beginning January 27.
Led by deputy chief of mission in the Spanish embassy Ramon Moreno, the EU group is to go on a fact-finding mission during its four-day visit. more >>
NEW DELHI (Compass Direct News) – After unprecedented large-scale attacks on Christians in the previous two years, 2009 brought hardly any respite as the minority faith faced an average of more than three violent attacks a week. There were at least 152 attacks on Christians in 2009, according to the “Partial List of Major Incidents of Anti-Christian Violence in India” released by the Evangelical Fellowship of India.
“The trend of attacks on the Christian community by rightwing Hindu groups goes unabated,” said Dr. Dominic Emmanuel, the spokesperson of the Delhi Catholic Archdiocese. “Overall, the Christian community still feels insecure.” Emmanuel also noted that none of the states that have “anti-conversion” laws have repealed them. The north-central states of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, Orissa in the east, Gujarat in the west and Himachal Pradesh in the north have anti-conversion laws, which Hindu hardliners routinely use to arrest Christians on spurious accusations of “forcible conversion.”
“If 2007 and 2008 went down in history as the most blood-soaked ones in the history of modern Christianity in India, 2009 surely rates as the year of frustrating confrontations with the law and tardy governance and on justice for the victims of communal violence,” said Dr. John Dayal, a Christian and human rights activist and member of the government’s National Integration Council. more >>