Friday, January 13, 2006

Rise in attacks on Christians in Madhya Pradesh

Bhopal, January 12, 2006

ALLEGING 45 per cent rise in crimes against missionaries during the last two years of Bharatiya Janata Party rule in Madhya Pradesh, the Madhya Pradesh Christian Association today claimed that fake cases were being registered against Christians, accusing them of being involved in religious conversion.

Conveniently, the attacks are targeted conventionally at the poor, rural Christians, who usually have no way to protect themselves, association secretary Anil Martin said in a letter to State Minorities Commission, while submitting a report of a survey conducted among 4105 Christians in Khargone, Dhar, Dewas, Indore, Jhabua and Ratlam districts.

The State Government has been sheltering communal elements and organisations to frame fake charges against Christians, the survey conducted by the Association and National Forum for Reconciliation, Religious Liberty and Social Justice alleged.

Claiming 45 per cent rise in crime against Christians, the report accused the administration and police of acting at the behest of the government and communal organisations and of being reluctant to file FIRs or registering complaints.

The attacks had taken place on tribal Christians in rural areas where their population was above the State's average and literacy levels were low, it said claiming that cottage churches in Chhindwara and other tribal belts were almost on the verge of closure.

Lone pastors, who are preaching are hammered or arrested on any pretext, usually on charges of converting or conversions, Martin said, seeking the commission's intervention in restoring faith of Christians on the State Government by preventing such attacks.

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