NEW DELHI (Compass Direct News) – Minority Christians in southern Karnataka state are under an unprecedented wave of Christian persecution, having faced more than 1,000 attacks in 500 days, according to an independent investigation by a former judge of the Karnataka High Court.
The spate began on Sept. 14, 2008, when at least 12 churches were attacked in one day in Karnataka’s Mangalore city, in Dakshina Kannada district, said Justice Michael Saldanha, former judge of the Karnataka High Court.
“On Jan. 26 – the day we celebrated India’s Republic Day – Karnataka’s 1,000th attack took place in Mysore city,” Saldanha told Compass, saying the figure was based on reports from faith-based organizations. more >>
NEW DELHI (Compass Direct News) – Attacks on Christians last month in Punjab state following protests against banners depicting Jesus drinking and smoking were eerily similar to the anti-Christian violence in Orissa state in 2007 and 2008, according to a fact-finding mission.
“I was struck by the similarities between the attacks in northern Punjab state and the violence in eastern Orissa state in 2007 and 2008,” said Dr. John Dayal, a member of the All India Christian Council (AICC) fact-finding mission, which released the report yesterday.
Dayal pointed out that factors such as the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) being part of the ruling coalition, police inaction, coordination of attacks and support of the local merchant community for Hindu nationalist groups in the anti-Christian attacks in Punjab reminded him of mayhem in Orissa’s Kandhamal district. more >>
An illustration of Jesus holding a can of beer in one hand and a cigarette in the other has sparked outrage among India’s Christian community.
What’s worse is that the image was published in a textbook for primary school children. The beer-drinking Jesus illustration was found under the letter “I,” for idol, in a textbook teaching children how to write cursive.
“Jesus Christ, who we, along with other Christians across the world, consider as the Son of God, was demeaned,” expressed the Indian Catholic Youth Movement of the Shillong Archdiocese in a statement. “The publication of the despicable picture has deeply hurt our religious sentiments, and its publisher has manifestly breached the provisions of the Constitution of India.” more >>
Police in the southern Indian state of Karnataka arrested and tortured 11 tribal Christians for allegedly forcefully converting Hindus, a Christian persecution watchdog reported Monday.
Washington-based International Christian Concern recently learned that the group of tribal Christians, which included four women, was jailed on Feb. 2. They were all released on bond two days later after local Christian leaders intervened.
“We condemn the Indian police for arresting and torturing the eleven tribal Christians,” said Jonathan Racho, regional manager for Africa and South Asia at ICC, in a statement Monday. “We urge India to stop targeting the victims of persecution and protect them against attacks by Hindu radicals.” more >>
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 >>