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 >>
A tutor in northern India allegedly killed his 11-year-old student for refusing to join the Islamic State terror group, according to the victim's family.
The victim, identified as Ravi Pal, a class 3 student from Kaserua Khurd village in Uttar Pradesh state's Allahabad district, was choked to death by his tutor, identified only as Irfan, according to Asia News International.
The student's father said Irfan was pressuring his son to join IS, also known as ISIS or ISIL, and killed him after the victim refused to do so. more >>
A group representing India's Christian minority recently issued a statement to a religious publication pleading for protection during Holy Week.
The Global Council of Indian Christians sent a statement to Fides News Agency declaring that "protection is necessary during Holy Week" in light of rising violence against Christian communities in the South Asian nation.
"The community fears an organized attack against Christian faithful and churches during Holy Week. As Christians, participating in the liturgies of the passion, death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, we ask for protection and security for our defenseless community," stated the GCIC. more >>
A group of Hindu radicals in India's Chhattisgarh state reportedly attacked and beat 60 Christians worshiping at a Pentecostal church on Sunday, only a week after the Indian government denied visas to a U.S. Commission investigating religious freedom abuses in the country.
International Christian Concern reported that a mob of 25 Hindu radicals targeted a Pentecostal church in Kachana colony, where they stormed the house of worship on motorbikes, and began beating the 60 or so Christians that had gathered for Sunday worship.
Witnesses said that the radicals also beat and stripped Christian women, and destroyed various church property, including Bibles. more >>
Christian organization Gospel for Asia and its supported missionaries have helped over 4,000 leprosy patients in India on World Leprosy Day as part of its ongoing ministry, and noted that social stigma and fear continue to block sufferers from getting the treatment they need.
While leprosy, a disease which has been known since biblical times, has been cured throughout much of the globe, the World Health Organization points out that small pockets of populations, especially in Asia, are still not getting the treatment they need.
There were close to 180,000 leprosy sufferers registered worldwide in the first quarter of 2014, and as many as 50 children a day are believed to be diagnosed with the disease. more >>
An extremist Hindu group recently humiliated a Christian man in Uttar Pradesh, India, after accusing him of converting Hindus to Christianity.
Police in Uttar Pradesh's Jalaun District are currently searching for several members of Bajrang Dal, an extremist group that kidnapped Awdhesh Kumar Savita, alleging that he tricked Hindus into converting faith.
After being kidnapped, Savita was blindfolded as militants shaved his head and paraded him around town on a donkey. more >>