Thursday, December 06, 2007

Goons destroy Church site at Pitampura in North Delhi

New Delhi 5/12/07
A group of 150-200 people came to the Church of Divine Mercy, belonging to the Delhi Catholic Archdiocese in Pitampura, between 7 and 7.30 this morning and destroyed the work in progress on the premises. They also broke the machines, the generator and scattered
the building material.

They ruffled up the site foreman and threatened him that if the labourers were seen on the land for more than two hours they would all be beaten up and their bones broken. They threatened to come again for a repeat performance if their threats were not heeded to.

The reason for the attack according to the assailants was that they did not want the Church on the premises, as they feared that the people there would soon be converted to Christianity. Fr. Alphonse
D'Cruz, the Parish Priest has have lodged an FIR and sought police protection in the interim period. The local MLA, Mr. S C Vats has been also briefed of the development.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Church demolished in Chhattisgarh in India

Jagdalpur (Chattisgarh, India), SVM News, November 21, 2007: A church that involving with development activities of the tribals was demolished by the activists of Sangh Parivar and Bajrang Dal on November 19 at Manduwa village near Kondagaon of Bastar District in Chattisgarh State in India.

A mob of Hindu radicals attacked Pastor Sudharu of Manduwa Church and burnt the newly constructed church on Monday about 10 at night alleging against converting people, specially tribals to Christianity.

"The attackers surrounded pastors room first, tied the pastor and beaten him up till he became unconcious," Mahesh Minj, a member of the church said to the Salem Voice Ministries (SVM) News Service.

While this time some other assailants were burning the church. Their plan was to burn alive the pastor and the people who were inside of the church building. But those who were with the pastor from his church escaped somehow. And also the church building did not burn completely. So the attackers demolished the remained parts of the church. 

Korla Police registered a case and started investigation.

Rev. Rajan, the Missionary Chief of Jagdalpur area, said that the missionaries working with them do not involve any conversion activities, but working for the development of the tribals. "Yet, we face regular threat from Hindu fanatics." He said.

Paul Ciniraj, the president of the Christian Mibnisters of the Churches of India (CMCI) and Director of the Salem Voice Ministries condemned attack towards pastor Sudharu and demolishing the church.

Christians attacked in Haryana

Eight booked for assaulting Christian missionaries

Posted at Friday, 16 November 2007 15:11 IST

Bhiwani (Haryana), Nov 16: Police today registered a case against eight people for their alleged involvement in physical assault on two Christian missionaries and burning their religious literature.
The two students of a Mission school in Ambala were beaten up by the members of a Hindu organisation when they were distributing religious literature at Naya Bazar area here yesterday, the police said.
They were taken in a procession and later, their religious literature was burnt outside their room.
A case was registered in this connection against eight people, but no arrest had been made so far, they said.
Security had also been provided to the local church in the town.

Click here for source

Church burned in Bastar

Sangh Parivar Radicals burnt a church and later demolished it in a Bastar village to "protest" against the "conversion drive" taken up by missionaries in tribal pockets.

On November 19th, at 9pm party Bajrang Dal activists entered Manduwa village, some 40km from Jagdalpur and 340km from Raipur, to ransack a newly constructed church before gheraoing the pastor, Sudharu, and staff. The cadre tied the pastor before beating him up. The staff, however, managed to flee from the spot. Sources said Sudharu fell unconscious after the beating.

The cadre stayed at the spot for three hours to watch the church getting burnt and to demolish whatever remained after the fire.

After receiving the information past midnight, senior officials of Jagdalpur missionary rushed to the village.

Police rushed to the spot only to find the village empty. The church authorities lodged an FIR with Korla police station in connection with the incident. No senior police officer could be contacted for their comments as they were in a daylong meeting with the chief minister in Raipur.

Pasator K. Rajan of Jagdalpur Church, , said the activists had mobilised in the village in the evening and had staged a demonstration outside the church.

Later, they retreated only to return and ransack the premises.

He, however, refuted the allegation that the church was involved in any "conversion" drive and clarified that they were working for the development of the tribals.

"The church works for humanity and will never indulge in distorting the glorious culture and tradition of tribals," he said.

He added that missionaries working in the area, totally cut off from mainstream society, are facing regular threat from Hindu fundamentalists.

Church authorities have taken a strong exception to the incident and convened a meeting to discuss the next course of action. Rajan felt that the police failed to take action against the activists involved in the incident.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Church land Cry


Calcutta, Nov. 3: Church authorities today demanded immediate steps for the return of their properties that have been “forcibly occupied” by government and private organisations.

They said they would be “compelled” to launch a state-wide movement in February if the government did not meet their demand by January-end. The statement came at a conference attended by more than 250 priests and heads of Christian missionary institutions.

“Government and private organisations are forcibly occupying huge properties owned by churches in Calcutta and the districts. The priests and bishops are running from pillar to post to get them back. But nothing is being done by the government,” said Bishop Brojen Malakar, who heads the Barrackpore diocese of the Church of North India (CNI).

A portion of a 17-acre plot owned by the Baptist Church in West Midnapore has been taken over by a local group to run a school, the church authorities alleged. In Murshidabad’s Jiaganj, the health department has turned a building owned by the CNI into a government hospital.The CNI says it has also lost a plot attached to a school in Dum Dum to a businessman, who has set up a petrol pump there.

Click here for source

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

ABVP against reservations to Muslims and Christians

Bhopal, Oct 28: Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad has opposed the reservation meant for the converted Muslim and Christian tribals, as the culture and tradition is the sole identity of the tribals. However In an attempt to solve the problems of the tribal areas and keeping in mind the progress among the tribal areas, the meeting for the tribal region heads of Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parisad took place in Bhopal on 27 and 28 October respectively.

Keeping in mind the existing problems of the students and their hostel, during this year a survey of all the tribal hostel of the country have been done in which the current arrangement and ambience regarding the hostel were discussed. A cooperative step was taken for all the troubles noticed after the assessment of the region which results in a new plan of 65 crore for Maharastra meant for new hostel construction and on the spot distribution of the pending scholarship to the students.

It is notable that there will be a report on the hostel survey in Kanpur National Session taking place in the coming month of December. Keeping in mind the challenges of coming time, ABVP is planning programs like career guidance for the tribal students. Meanwhile Asha Lakda National Office Bearer for ABVP said that they are opposed to the reservation given to the converted Muslims and Christian tribals. Lakda said that the converted tribals are leaving behind their culture and tradition and should not be eligible for any caste-based reservations. However they clarified that they are not against the Muslim and Christian community in any way.

Click here for source

Demonstration against attacks on Nuns in MP

Christian organizations demonstrate against attack

Indore, Oct 28: People belonging to Christian community staged silent demonstration against the assaulting incident met by five nuns of the community two days ago at Bhagirathpura in Indore. They also demanded that strict action should be taken by the administration against the persons involved in the attack on nuns.

While, one of the accused Shivcharan Singh Lodhi involved in the case of assaulting nuns have lodged an FIR with Banganga Police against the nuns for their alleged involvement in conversion activities. The police have booked the nuns under section 3, 4, 5 of the freedom of religion act.

The police had reluctantly registered a case against accused Shivcharan Singh and three others for assaulting nuns while they were heading back to church after a prayer held at the house, owned by a driver in Bhagirathpura area on Friday night. On the report of Anil Minj, the police had registered the case against Shivcharan, Manju and three others for allegedly assaulting the nuns on Friday.

However, accused Shivcharan have claimed in his complaint that all the five nuns including Sugandhi, Shweta, Anna, Sariuja, Kavita along with Anil and Joseph were involved in conversion activities. He informed that they had even tried to offer Rs 15,000 to the locals for conversion to Christianity. The police have begun the investigation, while no arrest has been made in both the cases.

Click here for source

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Nuns attacked again in Madhya Pradesh

26th October 2007

Five Franciscan Clarists Nuns Attacked in Indore , Madhya Pradesh

Bhopal : A group of  people wearing khaki shorts and white shirts with sticks barged into Mr. Anil ‘s house. The sisters along with people were praying in the house of Mr. Anil who is a catholic and driver of the Franciscan clarist sisters. The incident took place at around 8.30 pm. A mob allegedly lead by Mr. Mehra, Mr. Shivcharan and Manju began to beat them falsely accusing them of attempt to convert. The incident took place at shukliya ,15 kilometers away from Nanda Nagar Indore city in Madhya Pradesh. The sisters were reached back to the hospital with the help of  district collector of Indore.

The sisters who were beaten are Srs. Jincy (4o), Sr. Sayujia (27), Sr. Pavitra (26), Sr. Sweta (26) and Sr. Anna Maria (27). All of them are injured, the condition of Sr. Jincy is said to be serious with head injuries.  She is still in the hospital.

Shukliya area comes under the Banganga police station. The Police refused to file FIR till 7 pm in the evening on 26th October. The Additional S.P and CSP Mr. Parasor said to have threatened the Christians of dare consequences of filing the FIR. By evening around 6 pm Fr. Joseph Vallasery informed the Regional Public Relations Office , Bhopal,  of the worsening situation in Indore. He said, “Due to Global Industrial Meet no police officer or any senior officer is ready to listen to any thing, even the media refused to cover the news from Indore sighting this.”

After discussions with Archbishop Dr. Leo Cornelio, Chairman, Catholic Bishops Council of Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh, Fr. Anand Muttungal, Regional Public Relations Officer & Spokesperson, spoke over the phone to Shri. A R Pawar IPS, Director General of Police, Madhya Pradesh, about the dawn to dusk hunger strike that church plans for 27th October in Indore which is also the day of the Global investors meet in protest against the inaction of the police and their refusal to file FIR.”   The DGP assured immediate action and registration of the FIR.

Around 8 pm the DIG and SP Indore spoke to us and assured us of immediate action. They also requested to withdraw the hunger strike planned for 27th October. Police immediately sprang in to action. Taking into consideration of the larger interest of Madhya Pradesh in terms development expected through Global Industrial Meet , Catholic Church of Madhya Pradesh differed the date to 28th October 2007.

We request you all to keep us in your prayers.

Fr. Anand Muttungal

PRO & Spokesperson

Catholic Church, M.P & C.G

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Pastors humiliated in Orissa

Pastor Pran Ranjan Mali (Independent), Pastor Santosh Kumar Majhi(IPC), Pastor Jayson Badra & Pastor Roshan Lima(BCI), along with other friends are engaged in the evangelical work & have been preaching the gospel in Jagatsingpur District of Orissa, and the nearby villages for many years.

On Tuesday October 23rd these Pastors were on their Mission distributing the 100 New Testaments & Gospel Tracts to 42 Mouza village under Govindpur P.S. of Cuttack District.

They arrived at the village at around 10AM and began going door to door selling of the New Testaments & free distribution of different gospel tracts.

They continued to evangelize till 2 PM undisturbed and sold 40 New Testaments & distributed many tracts of around 100 gospel tracts.

Suddenly at around 2.15 PM, they were followed with a group of 15 to 16 Hindu fanatics belonged to Sangh Parivar who gheraoed & stopped them in continuing the gospel work. They accused & scolded them with vulgar words & took them forcibly to their village temple while threatening to tonsure them after some time.

As some of the radicals guarded these poor, innocent evangelists & organised a Brahmin to perform the ritual of Tonsuring & Sprinkling with Cow's urine in order to 'sanctify these 4 Pastors.

Thanks be to our Sovereign Lord, who protected these Pastors like Daniel in the Den of the Lion

The radicals could not organize things instantly, they had no alternative but to take them again forcibly to the Police station & handed them over there with a false charge of doing forcible conversion violating OFRA ACT( Orissa Freedom of Religion Act.

Police after arresting, also scolded them on the same ground and put them in the Custody the last whole night with a threatened note that they will forward them to the Court today. Police never allowed them to talk to anybody.


Meeting disrupted in Maharashtra

Maharashtra: Vikramgarh Taluka, 23rd October 2007

A healing meeting was disrupted by a frenzied mob and people were beaten up and roughed up for attending the same in Maharashtra’s Vikramgarh Taluka.

Pastor Victor Periera who organized the meeting was thrashed up too and ended up in a hospital in Vasai area.

The attackers arrived in two trucks which speaks about the preparations done by them. They not only beat up people but also abused them by their words and hurt their religious feelings.

The police have arrested 6 people.

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Christians troubled in Raipur, Chhattisgarh

The Church of God in Raipur Chhattisgarh has become the target of fascist Hindutva forces as the dharma sena accompanied by the police cross all limits and infringe on the rights of the minority community in the city.

The Church of God was having a 5 day convention from the 16th to the 21st October 2007 during which they, like any other Church, had a baptism ceremony for their members. What they did not know was that the Dharma Sena recorded the baptism ceremony secretly and passed on the video to the police citing it as a (sic) proof that the Church was indulging in forcible conversions.

The police instead of registering a case against the Dharma Sena of intruding in privacy, registered a case against the Church of God. In the evening the police further tried to disrupt the Church service by entering the Church premises forcefully accompanied by the Dharma Sena activists. The CSP Shashi Mohan Singh, the SP Umed Lal Singh, the Raipur magistrate and Dharma Sena activists were the ones tried to break in the Church. They left only when the Church gave them a list of the people baptized and after interrogating some of the newly baptized members. This is an out and out trampling of the fundamental rights of the minority community and can only be termed as “dadagiri” in the best possible terms.

The Church of God with membership of over a thousand is easily capable of bringing the city to a standstill but the chose to look otherwise and were rewarded with stone pelting in the nights.

For the last few days the Church has been regularly been pelted by stones and the Dharma Sena officials are giving slanderous statements on the local TV channels. The recent threat made by the Dharma Sena chief is that, “We will go all out and destroy them (Christians).” With the BJP in power in the state, what else can one expect?

Friday, October 12, 2007

Incident report from Chhattisgarh

October 5’ 2007

October 11'2007

NAME OF THE VICTIM : Pastor Chainu Patel and Sagundas Jurri

Wife - Housewife and ministers with husband
Younger brother - Chaitu,lives with Pr Chainu and studies in class 12th
Father & Mother - lives in Kaneri village, near Kondagaon.
CHURCH : House church in Murnar is the part of the Believers Church (GFA), Kanker, Chhattisgarh. It is a growing church amidst difficult circumstances. This house church was started about 3 years back.
ORGANIZATION : Believers Church in India (GFA)
LOCATION : Murnar is a small village, about 15 kms from Kanker and Keshkal each. Murnar falls under Murven gram panchayat and under the jurisdiction of Kondagaon Sessions Court. It is situated in Bastar(Jagdalpur) district, Chhattisgarh, India.

Kanker is a small town and the district headquarter of North Bastar. Keshkal is a large village on the national highway. There has been much persecution of the Christians in last three years in Kanker town and nearby villages and in the villages near Kondagaon . Villages of Kanker and Jagdalpur districts are heavily under influence of naxalism.

Date - October 5'2007
Time - 04:00 PM
Three days fasting prayer was arranged in the house of Sagundas Jurri from October 4th to 6th. Sagundas is an unbaptised believer, who has opened his house many times for meeting of the church. There are 5 believer families in the village. There were about 20 persons including women and children, present in the meeting. Most of them were believers from non Christian background.
At about 02:00 PM on October 5th, a group of fundamentalists sent message to Pastor Chainu Patel and Sagundas to appear before the village council of Gond tribal community . Since fasting prayer was going on, they refused. After sometime, same message was  sent to them again. They again expressed their inability to appear. Finally at about 04:00 PM, 15 of them led by Rameshwar Usendi stormed into the house. They were shouting slogans to stop conversions and were also shouting false allegations against conversions. Local believers were threatened to hold such meetings.
Similar incident occurred in Dundera village, half a kilometer away from Murnar, about a month back. A pastor was similarly questioned, threatened and forced to stop holding meeting in the village.
Pastor Chainu Patel and Sagundas were forced by this fundamentalist group to accompany them on a tractor to the alleged meeting of the Gond community at nearby village of Munver. But instead of the aforesaid meeting, Pastor Chainu Patel and Sagundas were staraightway taken to Keshkal police station and were handed over to the police. A group of fundamentalist people was already present there.
The complaint was lodged by Rameshwar Usendi. He accused them of conversion by allurement and hurting the religious sentiments. FIR was lodged against Pr Chainu Patel and Sagunram under section 295(A) and Chhattisgarh Freedom of Religion Bill.  No complaint against the assailants has been registered.
Bail application has been rejected in the lower court of Keshkal on October 6th and the police has obtained remand upto October 18th.
Preparation is underway to file the bail application in the Sessions Court of Kondagaon.
By-election in Keshkal is likely to be held in the month of November. Mr Mahesh Baghel of the BJP was MLA from this seat. He died in a road accident about a month back. This incident of atrocity against the Christians is directly corelated with BJP's attempt to hold the seat, by polarising the "Hindu votes".


Information of the attack came to the leaders of Chhattisgarh Christian Forum at about 10:00 AM on October 6th. Forum took immediate steps to build up pressure upon police and administration to take proper action against the assailants and to protect the village congregation.
Local pastors and leaders of Kanker, Keshkal and Kondagaon were mobilised to come forward and express their solidarity with fellow brothers.
A delegation of about 30 pastors and Christian leaders of Jagdalpur were mobilised immediately to meet the Superintendent of Police of Bastar(Jagdalpur) to present the real picture before him.
The Forum has been in continuous touch with the local leaders.
The Forum works in cooperation with EFI and Open Doors India.
Please uphold Pr Chainu Patel, Sagundas and the congregation before the Throne of Grace.

From A. Edgar

Saturday, September 29, 2007

GFA Students beaten up

Sources: Gospel for Asia, Assist News Service

Six Gospel for Asia Bible college students were assaulted Saturday, Sept. 15, by anti-Christian extremists while they passed out literature and shared the gospel in western India's Gujarat state. The extremists accused the students of trying to convert people to Christianity. Gujarat is home to some of the most vocal anti-Christian extremist groups in India.
The state also has an anti-conversion law which severely limits the ability of its citizens to leave the country's traditional religions. During the attack, the extremists also seized and burned the gospel tracts, Bibles and other books the students were carrying. Then they took the students to the police station. One student managed to escape during the scuffle and went to get help from GFA leaders at the college.
When the leaders made it back to the police station, they found that the students had been released, and no charges had been filed. The students suffered only minor bruises as a result of the attack and praised the Lord that they were released without any additional problems.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Church attacked in Chhattisgarh

September 23’ 2007

Name of the victim : Pastor Praduman Meshram

Family of the victim : Wife - Nurse in a government hospital of a nearby village, Daughter - 7 yrs, Son - 4 yrs.

Church : Salvation Prayer Tower is a growing church amidst difficult circumstances. Pastor Praduman cooperates with EFI Chhattisgarh and has recently applied for life membership. The church was started in 1999.

Organization : Uddhar Samaj Sevi Sanstha

Location : Sanjay Nagar, Kanker, Chhattisgarh, India. There has been much persecution of the Christians in last three years in Kanker town. Villages of Kanker district are heavily under influence of naxalism.
Incident :

Date - September 23'2007

Time - 11:30 AM

Pastor Praduman Meshram was leading the regular Sunday worship of the church, in a small hall adjoining the house of a believer, which is being used as the church building. Worship service started at 10 AM. There were about 30 women, 15 children and 10 men in the congregation. Most of them were believers from non Christian background.

At about 11:30 AM, about 20 youth belonging to local Bajrang Dal stormed into the church. They forcibly took Pastor Praduman Meshram out and started beating mercilessly. Local congregation specially women immediately came forward to protect their pastor.

Motorcycle of the pastor was also badly damaged. Meanwhile someone from the congregation informed the local police, which reached the spot in about 15 minutes. All assailants fled from the place as soon as police arrived.

Pastor and believers were taken to the police station. Complaint was lodged against the assailants and statements of the pastor and six sisters of the church were recorded. Pastor was taken to the government hospital for medical check up.

He sustained many injuries, specially  in the chest and thighs. He was discharged from the hospital after preliminary treatment. All of them were released from the police station at about 9PM.

No FIR has been registered so far.

Please uphold the pastor and the congregation before the Throne of Grace.

Respectfully submitted by,


Thursday, September 13, 2007

Allahabad HC judge wants Gita to be national holy book

Aasim Khan / CNN-IBN

Tuesday , September 11, 2007

New Delhi: " It is the duty of every citizen of India under Article 51-A of the Constitution of India, irrespective of caste, creed or religion, to follow dharma as propounded by the Bhagvad Gita".

This is not a chorus by any Saffron brigade, but the pronouncement of a judge of the Allahabad High Court . Justice S N Srivastava made this observation on August 30, while hearing a case filed by Shyamal Ranjan Mukherji, a priest at the Gopal Thakur Mandir in Varanasi.

Says Allahabad High Court lawyer, Krishna Shukla, "The Bhagavad Gita was an inspiration to all who took part in the struggle for India's independence and the preachings in the holy book are for the common man, and not for any particular caste or creed."

The saffron brigade however insists that the judgement has nothing to do with the judge's religion. Says member Vishwa Hindu Parishad, B P Singhal, "He has justice in his mind, not as a Hindu, but as a judge."

However if one looks back at the track record of S N Srivastava , there are other controversies as well. On April 5 this year, he had ruled that Muslims were not a minority group in Uttar Pradesh. The order was, however, stayed the very next day by a division bench of the High Court.

His ode to dharma came at the very end of his career, just five days before retirement.

Says columnist Saeed Naqvi, "The Bhagvad Gita is a part of India's culture but they are trying to make it a religious text."

In the words of the judge, if we can have a national bird, we might as well have a national holy book too. But then, are such sweeping statements appropriate for a custodian of the law, in a secular republic?

(With inputs from Abhishek Patni in Lucknow)

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Indian Christian Employees Persecuted in Saudi Arabia

SAUDI ARABIA (ANS) -- Seventeen Indian Christian employees are under house arrest and have been suffering severe persecution at a water company in Asir province in Saudi Arabia since August 15.

This information was revealed by Manoj of Kerala State, who escaped from the Saudi company and managed to get back to India, says a report from Salem Voice Ministries News Service.

They don't even get proper food and needed treatment, he said.

"There were 22 youth selected and sent to Saudi Arabia by a recruiting agency for the posts of driver come salesmen during the last week of April, 2007. The company offered them eight hours duty per day, good salary, and flight charges from India," Manoj told Salem Voice Ministries (SVM) News Service.

"But the company did not keep the promises, because the employees were Christians. They did not pay back their flight charges either," Manoj continued. "Employees were told to work in the company 18 hours per day without any rest. They were treated as slaves. Company authorities did not want to consider them even as domestic animals," Manoj said with tears.

According to SVM News Service, Manoj became sick during that time, but the company did not sanction him leaving. Manoj became worse and his friends took him to the hospital. That action provoked the company authorities and they started more persecution of the other Christian employees and put them under house arrest.

"They hardly get proper food in the custody. When they are being provided some food, Arabian people are spitting on it and giving them to eat," SVM News Service said.

When Manoj became seriously ill, the company sent him back to India without giving him a salary and allowances. Manoj told SVM News that he did not have a single coin with him. He sent a missed call to his brother, so that his brother called back from his mobile and learned that Manoj was arriving back in India and went and picked him up from Trivandrum airport.

Ronald Alex from Iritty in Kannur district was one among those 22. "He regularly used tp speak to us from Saudi Arabia by phone. But since August 15 we did not receive any call from him. So we enquired and found he is under police custody,"

Ronald's father Baby and mother Gracy told Paul Ciniraj, the director of Salem Voice Ministries.

Another young man, Jose Chacko, son of Chacko and Mariamma from Iritty in Kannur district fears arrest by Saudi police and is in hiding in a Keralite's home.

By Michael Ireland
ASSIST News Service

Click here for source

Polls in the air, UPA brings Muslim quotas on the table

Jayanth Jacob / D K SINGH

Posted online: Wednesday, September 05, 2007 at 0000 hrs IST

New Delhi, September 4

Sensing the inevitability of mid-term elections sooner rather than later, the UPA government is believed to be working out reservation benefits for Muslims and Christians. The plan is to bring a “sub-quota” for Muslims within the existing 27 per cent OBC quota and to include Christian and Muslim Dalits in the Scheduled Castes List.

This comes along with fast-tracking a slew of measures: implementation of the Justice Rajinder Sachar committee’s recommendations on minority welfare, legislation for unorganized sector workers and a more humane relief and rehabilitation policy.

Highly placed sources in the Congress have told The Indian Express that the government plans to issue an “executive order” to provide for a sub-quota for Muslims. Although a section of backward Muslims do get this benefit in the OBC category, their share in the reservation pie is minuscule. The Muslims, it is being argued, will stand to gain “substantially” in terms of their share if a sub-quota were to be created within the existing quota. And as they will be eligible for this benefit on the basis of social and educational backwardness, it will also circumvent existing court rulings against reservation on religious grounds.

Sources said the sub-categorisation of communities under OBC quota on the basis of relative backwardness had been recommended by the National Commission for Backward Classes over a decade ago but successive governments have been sitting on it.

Sources said the government is also working out ways to include Muslim and Christian Dalits in the SC List — a matter which is at present in the Supreme Court. The Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order 1950 originally restricted the SC list to Hindus but was later opened to Sikhs and Buddhists; it still excludes Muslims and Christians from its purview.

Tahir Mahmoud, member of the National Commission on Religious and Linguistic Minorities headed by Justice Ranganath Mishra, told The Indian Express that this could not be done via an executive order.

“The First List (Constitution Order 1950) was made in the name of the President of India on behalf of the government of India. But it is provided in the Constitution that any amendment to this 1950 Order could be done by Parliament only,” he said.

This comes shortly after the UPA announced a string of measures for minority welfare in Parliament last week in the wake of the Justice Rajendra Sachar committee’s recommendations.

Click here for source

Christian converts cease to be Indians

Durban: A Hindu religious leader in South Africa has caused a storm within the Indian community by saying that those who convert to Christianity will "lose their right to be Indian".

Thillayvel Naidoo, an executive member of the South African Hindu Maha Sabha and a Tamil linguist, made the remarks after a Christian convert, Deena Muthen, urged people to maintain their language and culture even if they convert.

Muthen, who is now a pastor practising in the large Indian-dominated residential township of Chatsworth in Durban, told his congregation that they should be proud of their rich language and culture.

But Naidoo said Muthen's comments were "tricks" to entice gullible people to convert to Christianity.

"Those who reject their religion lose the right to be completely Indian. He (Muthen) is distracting people with his Tamil preaching and hymns. Just because he preaches in Tamil does not mean anything, and I condemn it," he said.

However, Muthen, a former Hindu priest, rejected the assertion saying he made the comments because there was hunger for Indian culture and language among Indian Christians.

"I have been urging churches to become more culturally involved. People desire to know their heritage, and we can teach them Tamil. There is a lack of knowledge among Christian Indians, but this does not mean that we are not Indian or less than Indian," he said.

Click here for source

Priest arrested in Mumbai

By James Varghese
Special to ASSIST News Service
MUMBAI (BOMBAY), INDIA (ANS) -- Bajrang Dal activists handed over to Mumbai police a church father on charges of "forcible conversion" on Sunday, August 26.
According to a report carried on, an Indian Hindu web news portal, Fr. Edward was offering false promises of monetary help, foreign jobs, taking care of children etc. The site also claimed that Fr. Edward converted 40 "gullible Hindu families."

The Bajrang Dal activists told hindujagruti news, "The converted families were poor and hailed from the Bhyandar, Jogeshwari and Andheri areas in Mumbai City."
Their story alleged that "taking advantage of their poverty, Fr. Edward asked them to assemble at Vidyavikas School in Andheri where a mass was to be conducted on every Sunday and from there, they were taken to Juhu Beach to participate in program of conversion and only after which they were to be offered certain facilities.

"Once the people got there, the Father asked them to take a dip in the sea so as to purify them. Later, he started making statements like 'Your God is a devil. Only Jesus is the true Lord.'"

Seeing the priest doing this kind of an activity the Bajrang Dal activists caught hold of the Father and took him to Santa Cruz police station and lodged a complaint against him. After due enquiry, police filed a case against the Church Father and kept him in custody at D. N. Nagar police station. He was booked under Section 295-A and 508 for "deceit and bribery," by the police. He will be presented in Andheri Court for hearing.

Bajrang Dal is sometimes translated as "Monkey Brigade" and is the youth wing of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), and one of its family of organizations (Sangh Parivar) based on the core ideology of Hindutva (Hindu nationalism).

Assist News Service

New Believers Open Prison Doors for Pastor's Release

BILASPUR, INDIA (ANS) -- A beaten pastor awaits his fate under police custody. Pastor Palakar from Chhattisgarh was assaulted and accused of converting a nearby village. During his interrogation, the whole village flooded the prison, requesting the release of Pastor Palakar. However, the investigator questioned their intent in wanting this pastor released.

"When we were in trouble, no one helped us except this pastor," one of them said. "No one even cared for us, but this man brought joy, peace, and love to our families. We want you to release him or arrest all of us because we are all followers of Jesus."

They released the pastor and the church is growing even more in their commitment as Christ followers.

But still, divine appoints occur when people stand up for the truth. Such phenomena are occurring through Hindustan Bible Institute (HBI), which exists to give every Indian an opportunity to hear, understand, and respond to the Gospel. Their ultimate goal is discipleship. Their God-sized purpose is inspiring; and it is becoming a reality.

Four thousand individuals are being trained up per year through HBI's leadership and discipleship training programs, so that for every 1000 Indian people in each people group will have a dynamic transformational church.

"God continues to network us into various parts of our nation. We believe by the year 2020, we will be strategically distributed to reach every people group of our nation," as stated in the President and Director's 2007 Annual Report.

Dr. N. Paul V. Gupta's initial vision and passion began in 1952. His strategy was to reach the unevangelized by equipping one Indian to reach another Indian for Christ, so he established Hindustan Bible Institute in Chennai, India. Today, his son, Dr. Paul (Bobby) Gupta, carries this zeal and strategy forward with amazing results.
Just in the last 12 months, 396 churches were planted where no church previously existed. Services may have up to 35,000 people, who worship for three to four hours in the sweltering heat. In 1985, India had about 114,000 churches. Currently over 500,000 worshipping communities gather in homes, worship centers, preaching points, new church plants, and church
buildings. Pray for HBI as they share the liberating Truth throughout India.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Pastor Attacked in Chhattisgarh

Pastor Charles Patel of Chhattisgarh is attaked during Sunday Service on 26th Aug

This incidence took place today(26th August07) at Priyadarshini Nagar near Maitri NagarBhilai Dist Durg in the Central Indian State of Chhattisgarh [Priyadarshini nagar is about 10 kms from Durg] Around 12:30pm. Church ,a Baptism Service in a nearby river and after that they came to the Church which is a house fellowship run at Bro S. D. Patel’s house in Priyadarshini Nagar As the Church Service was progressing on ,Bajrang Dal activists entered the Church premises and started shouting and then they entered the hall were the fellowship was going on, along with them came the Police. Police asked the Pastor to Stop the meeting. The Bajrang Dal Goons told the Police that these Church people are converting people to Christ. The Police summoned the members of the Church to go to the Police Station for an Inquiry. The whole Church of about 52 people old young children went to the Nevai Police Station at 2pm which is about 12 kms from Durg and 2kms from Priyadarshini Nagar.

The Police started interrogating all believers and the persons baptized and all of them were strong in faith so the Police could not find anything against them. The believers both new and old declared that they love Jesus and gave their personal testimonies. That they tasted the Lord and so they came to Christian faith. So at around 4pm 40 members consisting of ladies and children were allowed leave the station. Twelve members were detained for further investigation . The believers went home praising God When their allegations proved wrong, the Bajrang Dal Goons went out and hired some of their sympathizers to give False Testimony against Pastor and the Church. These hired radicals came and informed the Police that they were told to get converted and alleged that Rs. 500/- was offered to each one of them by the Pastor. The Police connived with the criminals and on the basis of false testimony arrested sixty-five year old Brother S. D. Patel and 35 year old Bro. Neeraj Martin The brothers from the Church saw clearly the Bajrang Dal Goons handing over the money to the fellows who gave false witness against the Pastors Bro S. D. Patel and his own brother. Charles Patel 56yrs old are Pastors in this
independent Church. S. D. Patel is retired from Bhilai Steel Plant in 2001 and then he started serving the Lord and Bro Charles Patel took Voluntary Retirement from Hindustan Steel Work Construction Ltd in 2001 and started serving the Lord. These brothers were in the Police Station from 2pm till 10:45 in the night.

The Police filed the FIR at around 9pm and at 10:45pm Bro Charles Patel and the others were allowed to go Bro S. D. Patel and Bro Neeraj Martin have been kept in Police Custody. They will be produced before the court tomorrow .Do special prayer for this dear brethren that the Lord may strengthen them and bless them richly and for an early bail hearing

Pastor Sam Mathew

GCIC Coordinator for M. P

Persecuted Church of India Yahoo Group.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Anti Conversion law in trouble

Chhattisgarh anti-conversion Bill runs into trouble
Wednesday August 22 2007
RAIPUR: After Gujarat, the anti-conversion Bill of the BJP government in Chhattisgarh has run into trouble as the governor has raised objections to some of its provisions, official sources on Tuesday said.

The governor has objected to some of the provisions of the dharma Swatantreya adhiniyam-2006 passed by the assembly in August last year, a top official told PTI here.
Governor E S L Narsimhan and his predecessor K M Seth had raised objections to two provisions in the Bill- obtaining permission from the district collector before any conversion or face punishment and allowing people to return to Hinduism and not treating this as conversion, the official said.

Such provisions were proposed in the existing law by the BJP government as the saffron party had alleged large-scale conversion of Hindus to Christianity during the previous Congress administration led by Ajit Jogi.

The governor wanted to know why the government thought of bringing in an amendment into the existing act which was in force since the days of undivided Madhya Pradesh, the official said.

The BJP came to power in Chhattisgarh, which was carved out of Madhya Pradesh in 2000, in December 2003. Governors of Gujarat, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, all currently ruled by BJP, had also raised
objections to provisions in similar bills with Gujarat governor naval Kishore Sharma recently returning the Bill to Narendra Modi government.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Christians attacked in Karnataka

From our Correspondent

Bangalore: Hindu fanatics attacked Christian believers gathered at a church in Amruthahalli of Yellehanka, Karnataka on 19 August 2007. The attackers wrote slogans and pasted symbols like Om all over the church walls and its gate.

Pastor Thomas Koshy, the minister in charge of Indian Pentecostal Church at Amruthahalli, who has been working at the village for the past six years, said a group of Hindus came to the church and asked him to stop the Sunday worship service. They blamed him for all conversions in the village and warned him of serious consequences if he did not obey them.

The Pastor decided to have the worship service in another place. So he went to consult his superior at Lingarajpuram. Unaware of the development, the believers began to arrive at the church. As they were waiting for the Pastor, a group of 40-50 Hindu fanatics arrived and started to attack the believers. While some of the believers ran away, some of them took shelter at the house of the Pastor. The attackers followed them and locked them up in the house.

One of the believers reported the police station at Yellahanka. The police arrived and freed the believers locked up inside the house. When the Pastor returned, he found the church building covered with Hindu slogans and symbols. The Police were trying to blame the Pastor for the development. They allegedly threatened the witness asking him to keep himself away.

The Pastor and his believers filed an FIR with the police. Although the police promised protection for the church, no arrest had been done so far. The owner of the building in which the believers gather was asking the Pastor to vacate the building. “The believers are also being threatened by the fanatics, who say they will beat and kill them if they try to gather at the church again,” sources said.

Friday, August 17, 2007

RSS attacks Christian Meeting in Uttar Pradesh

Reports have just come in that a huge mob of RSS and Bajrang Dal activists attacked the Kacchuwa Mission Hospital near Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh.

The hospital authorities had organized an Independence Day celebration where in they had organized Children’s competitions and events in which about 400 Dalit Children were participating along with their parents. This was happening with the knowledge of the authorities and the police was duly informed about it.

The RSS and the Bajrang Dal raised an objection to it and had complained about the event to the local authorities which had prompted the local authorities to further investigate the event following which they gave a clean chit to the mission.

Infuriated by this the RSS and the Bajrang Dal today called on their cadre from various places near Varanasi and a huge mob attacked the mission at about 10:00 am. They destroyed property and caused mass vandalism and scared the children who started to run and took shelter at the back of the stage.

Brother Raju Abraham tried to reason with the group and asked them to speak with him so that things could be solved through dialogue but the attackers hit him and roughed him up. He has a deep wound above his left eyebrow. Pastor Joy who was with Brother Raju Abraham, when tried to stop the attackers was also beaten up.

According to reports the attackers shouted anti Christian and anti Dalit slogans and cause mass panic.

It was only later that the police reached the spot. Last heard the Local Magistrate had arrived on the scene and statements were being taken.

Please pray for the Christian leadership in this situation that they will be able to maintain a good testimony at this time.

Indians attacked on Independence Day

In a demoralizing incident on India’s 60th Independence Day, police in Mysore, India, told a group of 70 believers to stop offering Independence Day prayers without permission after Hindu radicals barged in to the prayer hall and disrupted them.

The pastors and the congregation of Full Gospel Church in the Mysore District of India’s Karnataka state gathered Wednesday at around 10:30 am in the morning to pray for the country when they were disrupted an hour later by a gang believed to be from Hindu groups Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP).

The RSS/VHP activists, numbering about 20, reportedly barged into the prayer meeting of the church and dragged out the pastors – Vinod Chacko, 32, and C.T. Joseph, 38 – along with church members Chinnaswamy and Salvino. They also abused the congregation and accused them of anti-national activities.
The pastors were then taken to Nangengode police station where police inspector Lakshmikanth Talwar and sub inspector Prabhakar – under pressure from radicals – told the pastors that no prayers can be held on Independence Day without police permission.

The pastors may have to appear before the police on Saturday, Aug. 18.

“Believers had gathered merely to offer prayers for their country in a peaceful manner,” a reporter for New Delhi-based Christian Today wrote in a report of the incident on Wednesday. “Instead of celebrating the Independence, which marks freedom for India, these radicals deny the freedom of worship for believers which the right inscribed in the constitution of Independent India granted them.

The report also noted that the incident is one of many amid the recent escalation of attacks on Christians in Karnataka state.

Click here for source

Monday, July 30, 2007

Nuns arrested in Orissa

Baripada (Orissa), July 28: Two Catholic nuns were Saturday arrested after two girls, who studied at the residential school run by the Catholic church at Baghamara, 30 km from here, accused them of physical torture and forcing them to attend prayer.

Sister Mary and Sister Prema were arrested by the police this morning and a case has been registered against them under sections 323 and 506 of IPC and Section 4 of the Orissa Freedom of Religion Act, SP Sanjay Kumar Singh said.

Two girls, Sarojini Murmu (14) of Nachipur village and Anjana Behera (11) of Titial village under Khunta police station, who had been studying at the residential school Bijay Sadan at Baghamara, had fled from the school on July 20, he said.

They had allegedly told their parents that they had been physically tortured and made to clean toilets and the school poultry. An FIR was lodged by them at the Badasahi police station by the two girls on July 26 last.

Father Isaac, a priest from the Catholic diocese at Balasore, who had rushed here following the development, told that charges had been "cooked up against the two nuns".

Click here for source


Saturday, July 07, 2007

Pastor attacked in Raipur

Pastor Vikas Masih was attacked by the Dharam Sena ot Thelipancha Ring Road, Raipur, Chattisgarh State, at 1 pm on 6th July 2007.

On 5th Juy, the Dharam Sena accosted him as he was returning from a prayer meeting and threatened to beat him up and ensure that he could no longer work in the area. This afternoon, at about 12.30 a group of Dharam Sena Activists went to his house at Bhatapara , dragged him out and beat him up severely.

They also took him to the Thellipancha Police Station five Kms from his house church dragging him .

There was a huge crowd at the police station and local Pastors of Raipur reached the Police Station to give support to Pastor Vikas Masih.

The police took Pastor Vikas for first aid at 4 pm.
A case was registered against the Pastor under IPC. section 298 (uttering words ,etc; with deliberate intent to wound the religious feelings of any person)

But his attackers were set free.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Christian attacked in Uttarakhand

Two Gospel for Asia native missionaries, Rajat Tanak and Savir Santosh, were forced to seek shelter in a sugarcane field to escape a group of hostile anti-Christian extremists in Uttarakhand, India.

Rajat and Savir were traveling to a village where a GFA-related church pastor, Adil Mehal, had invited them to show Man of Mercy, an Indian-made film about the life of Jesus. As the two were walking with their film equipment, a man stopped them and expressed interest in seeing the film. However, when Rajat and Savir invited him to come to the showing, the man’s demeanor suddenly changed. He accused them of violating the state’s anti-conversion law.

“You are trying to convert people to Christianity by using bribes,” the man yelled.

As the man shouted the accusations, other people from the area gathered around them and began questioning them. The missionaries answered their questions truthfully, telling them they were not forcing anyone to become a Christian and were not using unlawful practices. The people finally let Rajat and Savir go, but not without threatening them first.

Continuing on their trip to show the film, Rajat and Savir were stopped again by a different group of anti-Christian extremists.

The group snatched the Man of Mercy DVDs and sound equipment from the missionaries and threw it on the ground. When Rajat and Savir tried to pick the DVDs up, one of the extremists stomped on the discs. Then, the extremists beat up Rajat and Savir and forced them to go to a local shop. The owner of the shop was the extremist group leader. He also began accusing them of illegally converting people to Christianity.

The group was going to take the missionaries’ LCD projector, but first they allowed Rajat and Savir to go outside with two escorts. During this time, they ran into some nearby sugarcane fields in an effort to save the projector. Because the fields were so dense, the two missionaries were able to escape.

Rajat and Savir waited in the field until the extremists gave up their search, and then they called Pastor Adil to tell him what had happened. When the pastor heard about their situation, he cancelled their scheduled film showing in his village. The local Bible colleges and GFA main office also began praying for their safe return.

The missionaries waited in the sugarcane field until 3 a.m., when they felt it would be safe to venture out into the darkness. Rajat and Savir walked for three hours until they got to a main road, then caught a bus going to a village where a GFA district supervisor lives. They finally reached the safety of his home later that day.

When members of the extremist group found out that Rajat and Savir were working with Pastor Adil, they went to his house, but he was not there. They told his wife, who answered the door, that they would kill Pastor Adil if he ever allowed the film team to come to their village.

For a while, Pastor Adil had to conduct his ministry in secret because of the extremists’ threats. Now, he is able to freely minister in the area himself, but the extremists told him he cannot bring missionaries in from other places. Rajat has continued film ministry in other villages, and Savir is now working to plant a church in Uttarakhand.

Pastor Adil requests prayer that he will be able to continue his ministry in the village. He also asks for prayer that the extremists will come to know the Lord. Also pray that Rajat and Savir’s ministries will be fruitful, and many will see Christ’s love through them.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Pastor attacked in Chhattisgarh

On July 1, 2007 in Rouabandha, Bilainagar, Durg District of Chhattisgarh, about 60 to 70 Bajrang Dal activists attacked Pastor Israel during a church service. Around 11am, the activists interrupted the worship service of Living Grace Ministries church. Besides beating the pastor, they destroyed musical instruments which cost approximately Rs. 15,000 and stole Bibles which they later burnt at the central market in Rouabandha. Also, Mr. Ravi Kumar, a believer who tried to protect the pastor, was seriously injured, with broken teeth and facial injuries.

Pastor Israel received many threatening calls from Hindutva activists during the past two months. Also, on 5 May 2007, the same group of people beat and harassed one of the families who attend the church.

The attackers fabricated a story of fraudulent conversions after an unknown person complained that Pastor Israel had offered Rs. 10,000 to convert to Christianity. They activists used this report as a reason for their attack.

Pastor Israel and his family have been serving in the town for the last 12 years.

FIR has not been filed by either party. Police said they are investigating the incident and will protect the Christian community.

Christian attacked again in MP and Chhattisgarh

2nd July 2007

Around 40 - 45 Bajrang Dal people attacked Pastor Amos Singh and his wife as they were ministering in Reva, Madhya Pradesh in a ECI Church around 1:00 pm today.

Pastor Amos Singh originally from Balaghat is a famous speaker and Christian leader from Madhya Pradesh. He was resting in his room when the attack took place. The attackers suddenly broke into the campus of the Church and broke open the door of the room where Pastor Amos was relaxing. They started beating him with iron rods and pipes and assaulted him with knives. When his wife tried to intervene even she was not spared and has got a knife cut on her cheek.

Along with beating them the attackers also beat up people who had gathered for prayer and reports verify that around 6 - 7 people are seriously wounded including a woman whose head was cut open as a result of the beatings.

The attack took place suddenly and Christians were caught unaware, but local Christian leaders are saying that it was a well planned move by the Hindutva goons.

Last heard of the police had taken the victims for Medical examination and no FIR was filed.

Yesterday Pastor Israel and his wife from Bhilai, Chhattisgarh were also attacked and beaten up mercilessly by the Hindutva goons.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

CBCI report reveals Hindu majority in Christian institutes

New Delhi: A national level survey conducted by the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India's (CBCI) Commission for Education and Culture has revealed that about 53 percent of students in various Christian organizations located in various parts of the country are Hindus, while 22.7 percent are Catholics and 8.6 percent are Muslims.

The survey gave an insight into the composition of students according to their gender, religion and family income.

It was also found that 59.3 percent of the Catholic educational institutions including schools, colleges and other vocational centres are located in rural areas while the rest are located in urban areas.

An encouraging 54% of the students were females while 40 per cent were males.

"The Catholic Bishops Conference of India standing Committee in April had approved the final draft of the All-India Catholic Education Policy - 2007 and conducted a national level survey of all Catholic educational institutions India during 2004-06. The survey is an important piece of document as it gives us an immediate reference to our student and teacher ratio too," said CBCI spokesperson Babu Joseph.

Click here for source

Protest against assault

DIPHU: The atrocities perpetrated on some Christians inside a church complex at Manja in Karbi Anglong district allegedly by Assam Police have drawn censure from Christian organizations, who demanded stern action against the guilty personnel.

Condemning the incident, the Assam District of the Assemblies of God of East India demanded immediate action against the culprits as according to the provision of law in the interest of protecting the sanctity of a religious place and the citizens from injustice.

Likewise, the Salvation Army appealed to the authorities to initiate necessary action against those responsible.

It may be mentioned the assault was perpetrated on June 19 near Chong Veng, Manja, when some youths were squabbling among themselves.

Sources said soon after the squabbling, some plainclothes policemen reached the spot. They entered the residence of Rev. R Sanga Keivom, superintend of Assam District Assemblies of God, East India, inside the church complex and assaulted his daughter, son and a religious leader of Salvation Army with rifle butts without any rhyme or reason.

Click here for source

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

IEHC Jabalpur workers arrested and office sealed

June 7th 2007, Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh:

Police arrested three workers of the India Every Home Crusade (IEHC) under the Madhya Pradesh Dharma Swatantryata Adhiniyam 1968. They charged them with forced and fraudulent conversions under the section 3 and 4 of the above act.

The problem had started when the police had discovered some letters pointing to baptism ceremony. The letters were brought to the attention of the police by the local Dharma Sena.

The Dhrama Sena has been active against Christians in Jabalpur and every atrocity on the minority community has traces of their involvement yet the authorities have not questioned their role.

Mr. Sudhir Xavier, the manager of IEHC was among the people arrested. The other two are called Pramod Kumar and K Kumar.

The police according to reports from Jabalpur were cooperative and hinted that they were forced to do this as this was an order from above. The three were taken to the police station and let off three hours later. Christian leaders from Jabalpur like Rev. David Lal, Rev. Cyril Cornelius and others were present at the police station. Mr. Handa, a local lawyer from Jabalpur bailed the three out.

The police also sealed the office of the IEHC and last heard the application for the re-opening of the office was rejected by the court on June 14th 2007.

The police is now after the other staff of the IEHC Jabalpur and asking them to surrender themselves to the police.

Please pray for the IEHC and its staff in India.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Missionary Kidnapped

Chennai: A missionary, J Charles Simon, working with an evangelical movement in the city, has been missing since Saturday night(9th June).

According to a complaint lodged by his wife C Sudha, Charles, 35, was kidnapped by a four-member gang from near his house in Pudur.

Franklin, Charles's brother-in-law, said, "On Saturday evening, he left our house to meet a friend, Shyamala, whom he told that on his way, a stranger had sought his help to withdraw money from a Punjab National Bank ATM. He also told her that the stranger withdrew only Rs

"But while returning from Shyamala's house around 8 pm, he was kidnapped near the Pentecostal Church in Pudur. He called up Sudha around 4 am and told her that the man at the ATM was a thief. He said the kidnappers demanded his credit card though he does not have one
and threatened to kill him."

Franklin, a bank employee, said his brother-in-law does not have a credit card. He also alleged that police did not register an FIR till late Sunday evening.

"The police were questioning us But when a schoolgirl living near the church told police on Tuesday that she had heard the cries of a man on Saturday, police lodged a case of kidnapping. "I think the police have picked him up mistaking him to be an offender," he said.

Pastor beaten in Goa

Pastor S. Zakaria had established a small Church 'Prayer House' in one room in Bambolim, Goa about one year back.

Pastor S. Zakaria conducted prayers and lectures every Sunday, from 9.30 a.m. to 11.00 a.m.

About 8 months ago, wife of Mr. John D'Cunha from Mapusa started attending the prayers and services.

Shortly thereafter, wife of Shri. Manoj Nippanikar started going for the prayers, along with Mrs. D'Cunha.

Shri Manoj was annoyed at the attendance of his wife at Christian prayer meetings, he (Mr. Nippanikar)approached the local Bajrang Dal activists for assistance.

He informed the activists of the place and time of the meetings and instigated them that Christian conversion activities were taking place there.

On Sunday June 10th, Mr Nippanikar along with a mob of 25 extremists went to the 'Prayer House' and took the Pastor to task during his lecture.

Mr. Nippanikar and other furious radical Hindus gave the Pastor a sound beating. Later, they lodged a complaint with the police against the Pastor in Mapusa police station.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

MP anti-conversion law unconstitutional: Attorney General

June 12,2007

MP anti-conversion law unconstitutional: Attorney General

According to sources in the state government, Attorney General Milon Banerjee, central government’s chief legal advisor, has given his opinion on the request of state governor Balram Jakhar. The latter had sought Banerjee’s opinion on the amendments which was criticized by the Church leadership and other secular activists as anti-Constitutional.

The governor is yet to grant his assent to the crucial amendment.

A state government official told ICNS that they were waiting for the governor’s “nod to the amendment”, but was ready to face “any eventuality”.

Last year’s amendment passed by the BJP government makes it compulsory on individuals who wish to convert to a religion to take prior approval from the local district administration. If an individual fails to notify the authorities and obtain permission severe punishments can be imposed on him/her.

The amendment also makes it compulsory on those conducting the conversion ceremony to inform the district magistrate a month before it, and give him the details including the venue and time of the ceremony, and the names and addresses of those converting.

Once the district magistrate is informed, under the new amendment, elaborate police verification would be carried out and only on a positive report from the police the magistrate would give his nod for the ceremony.

Madhya Pradesh was one of the first state governments to introduce an act in 1968 on religious conversions, then by a Congress government. It was then amended last year by the BJP government.

However, as reported by the Indian Catholic recently, the National Minorities Commission is yet to receive any reply from the central Indian state to prove that there is any large-scale conversion going on in Madhya Pradesh. The Commission has been asking state governments where such laws are in existence about the data regarding violators.

Christians arrested in Guntur

Two Christians were arrested by local police for distributing Christian literature in Amaravati, Guntur, Andhra Pradesh on June 2 under Sections 296 and 298 IPC.

The two missionaries - a Christian woman from Bangalore, joined by 15 year old local boy identified only as 15-year-old Chilka Peter and Sister Prabha,, were visiting the temple town when they were arrested for distributed Christian literature among devotees from Karnataka who had come to visit the temple.

Hindu activists who noticed the activity alerted the local police who in turn arrested them under Sections 296 and 298 of the Indian Penal Code for causing disturbance and wounding religious feelings respectively

They were finally released on bail on the intervention of local Christian leaders.

Stir against Christian preacher in Andhra Pradesh

Stir against Christian preacher in Andhra Pradesh

Hyderabad, Jun 12: Members of the outfit named after Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy's son Y S Jaganmohan Reddy today staged a demonstration, demanding an apology from Evangelist K A Paul who had claimed that Dr Reddy had demanded Rs 20 crore as donation to the Congress.

Enraged activists of the ''Jagan Yuva Sena'' stormed a star hotel here, where Paul had been staying, and raised slogans against the preacher for making 'baseless' allegations against the Chief Minister as also Housing Minister B Satyanarayana.

Policemen providing security to the hotel brought the situation under control and dispersed the activists.

The Congress activists had taken to stirs in different parts of the State after the preacher also charged that Dr Reddy did not arrange for the visit of party President Sonia Gandhi to his orphanage for failing to provide the amount.

--- UNI

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Two Pastors attacked in MP

Pastor Mukesh Pal has been running a church in Rajgarh, Madhya Pradesh. On 3rd June, a mob owing allegiance to the RSS appeared at his house at 2:30 pm, stopped the meeting which was going on and dispersed the participants by threatening them with dire consequences if they stayed. They then proceeded to systematically wreck the house and left after warning the pastor against continuing his work in the area.

In a separate incident, a pastor in Kharward district was attacked at his home on the same day. Pastor Bheem Singh pastors a church in the region. On 3rd June, he had returned home after the Sunday morning service when his house was attacked. His aged father suffered a fractured leg and his wife suffered injuries. Both have been admitted to hospital. Police have registered a case.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Muslims and Christians not minorities

KOCHI: The Muslim and Christian communities in India do not deserve to be classified as minorities and as such are not entitled to special benefits either in admissions or in the running of educational institutions, Subramaniam Swamy, former Union Law Minister and president of the Janata Party has said.

He was talking after inaugurating a national seminar on `Minority Rights in Education - Logics and Fallacies' organised by the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) at the Rajiv Gandhi Indoor Stadium here on Wednesday.

Dr. Swamy, in his speech, went on to define `minority' on the basis of a set of conditions.

He said that Muslims and Christians should voluntarily give up reservation benefits if they were to be treated on an equal footing.

He urged the AVBP to oppose tooth and nail any attempt to provide reservation to Muslims and Christians in educational institutions.

Click here for source

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Priest attacked in Jharkhand

Priest at RIMS after attack


Ranchi, May 15: A 45-year-old priest, identified as George Minj, has been shifted to Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences Ranchi (RIMS) in a serious condition after he was beaten up by some unidentified youths late last evening.

Minj is currently the in-charge of Garha Lodhma parish under the Roman Catholic Church, under Bharno police station in Gumla. The priest, who sustained serious head injuries, is admitted at the neuro ward of RIMS for advanced treatment.

The incident occurred yesterday evening after Minj was returning from Kharsanga Village under Bharno police station in Gumla, some 65-km from Ranchi.

“I had gone to see the people there following reports of an outbreak of malaria. Around 7.30 pm, while I was returning to my parish some youths attacked me. The area where I was waylaid was near a dense forest adjoining the village area,” Minj said.

According to Minj, the attackers were carrying sticks and they had hit him on the head several times unless he lost consciousness. His left eye is badly swollen whilst his left hand is suspected to have been fractured. After recovering from the initial shock, the injured priest somehow managed to inform the nearby villagers who had brought him to his parish at Garha Lodhma. Doctors attending the injured priest said his condition was stable.

Minj recalled that a week ago, some youths had attacked St Paul’s High School and had broken many of the glass panes.

“Attacks on priests are frequent, though we do not complain and carry on our service to the people,” he said.

Meanwhile reacting to the incident, Cardinal Telesphore P. Toppo, who is currently in Rome, told The Telegraph over the phone that the attack on priests reflected the poor state of affairs prevailing in the society.

“Priests go to the most remote of villages, unarmed and unescorted to serve the poor and needy. Attacks on priests need to be condemned in the strongest of terms. However, I will pray both for the injured priest as well as for the attackers so that God might show them the light of the day,” Toppo said.

Click here for source

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Christian Principal Shot at in Delhi

NEW DELHI: A Christian priest was seriously injured when two unidentified youths fired at him inside a school at Sangam Vihar in south Delhi on Tuesday afternoon. One of the assailants, according to the staff, had visited the school the day before, seeking admission for his son.

Father George Phillip was admitted to a private hospital with a bullet lodged in his chest. The two assailants opened fire at the 37-year-old priest when he resisted their attempts to rob the school, said the police. The duo managed to flee and a manhunt has been launched to arrest them, the police added.

The incident happened at St Vincent Pallotti School in L Block. Though preliminary investigations suggest that it was a robbery attempt, the police are not ruling out other possibilities, including the fact that the incident could be a fallout of personal enmity.

The priest is currently undergoing treatment at the intensive care unit at Batra Hospital. "He suffered two bullet injuries, one in his chest and the other bullet grazed past his forehead," said a senior police officer.

The school authorities said they had no idea about the intention behind the attack. Said an eyewitness, a junior staff at the school, Devnish Toppo: "Two men entered Father Phillip’s office, seeking admission forms, around 1 pm on Tuesday." One of the youths, Toppo said, had come on Monday as well with some queries relating to the admission of his son in Class I.
Confirming this, another priest working at the school, Father Dominique, said: "We asked him to come on Tuesday along with his ward. On Tuesday afternoon, the same man came with his associate. They asked me for the forms and I directed them to Father Phillip’s office."

The youths entered Father Phillip’s office, and at gun-point, asked him to hand over all valuables to them, said the police. One of the men pounced on the priest and snatched away his mobile phone. Later, they shot at him twice when he resisted their attempts to rob the school.

The school staff came running on hearing the gun shots and a brief scuffle ensued as they tried to hold back the assailants. But the attackers managed to break free and one of them scaled the main gate, bolted it from outside, and ran towards the main road, while his accomplice scaled the wall and vanished into the woods near the school.

Their country-made revolver, which fell on the ground during the scuffle, was recovered by the police.

The duo managed to flee with the principal’s phone, which has been placed under surveillance, said the police. A police team with sniffer dogs visited the school and the adjoining forest, but nothing could be found.

At the time of the incident, the two priests, who stay in the residential block of the school, and some school staff were present. The school, which teaches up to Class VI, has around 150 students and eight teachers. But they were not present, as the school was closed for summer vacation, the police said.

The primary school is run by the Queen of Apostle’s Church, based in Kanpur. It was established in 2004. Father Phillip joined as the principal here about six months back. Before that, he was looking after the Indore branch of the school, the police said.

Pastor arrested in Orcha, Madhya Pradesh

Pastor arrested in Orcha, Madhya Pradesh

15th May 2007

Kunal Pasricha, a Pastor was beaten up by Hindu fundamentalists and later arrested by the police on the evening of May 14th at Narayanpur village, District Chhatarpur, Madhya Pradesh.

On 14th May Pastor Kunal Pasricha was visiting a village in order to show a film on the life of Jesus Christ. Before he could do that a mob of about 70 -80 people attacked him, beat him and took him to the local police station. They accused him of hurting their religious sentiments and of forcible conversions. An FIR under sections 153 of the IPC and Section 4 of the Madhya Pradesh Dharma Swatantrya Adhiniyam has been registered against the Pastor.

Christian Priest Attacked in Delhi

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

DL: Christian priest attacked

New Delhi: Two unidentified miscreants on Tuesday opened fire at a church priest following a scuffle in south Delhi, police said. Father George Phillips, who resides in the St Vincent Palloti Primary School campus in Sangam Vihar area, received bullet injuries after the two men tried to snatch his mobile phone. The assault shot at him after failing to overpower him. The accused entered from the school gate and later fled into the bushy area in the school vicinity, a police official said. Phillips was later rushed to the Batra Hospital where the bullet was removed. His condition was said to be stable.

However, police did not rule out the possibility that the priest was attacked for religious reasons. "We have launched investigations and the actual motive behind the crime could only be known after the arrest of the accused," a senior police official said. (IANS)

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Bills to ban cow slaughter and conversion in coming session of Assembly – Khanduri

By Ravindra Saini in Dehradun

Uttarakhand Chief Minister B.C. Khanduri has assured the saints to bring the cow protection and anti-conversion Bills soon in the state. He said the cow is backbone of Indian economy and she is most revered for Hindus world over. He said cow slaughter would not be allowed at any cost in the state. Shri Khanduri was addressing a large gathering of saints in Haridwar on April15. He said the anti-conversion Bill would be brought soon to ban conversion with allurement or fraudulent means. Prominent saints who were present on the occasion included Swami Satyamitranand Giri, Swami Hansdas, Swami Chidanand Muni, Swami Paramanand Maharaj, Dr Pranav Pandya, etc. Shri Khanduri said the Bills to ban cow slaughter and conversion would be brought in the coming session of the Assembly.

Later talking to Organiser in Dehradun, the Chief Minister spoke about the changes he brought in the state to improve the economic condition and administrative set up. “Since the financial condition of the state is bad the wasteful expenditure needs to be stopped with immediate effect. I have said that any strict action to stop the wasteful expenditure should begin from me. Therefore, I have tried to cut down the unnecessary expenditure on my office. I have reduced my caravan and vehicles from 8 to 2. I have directed the bureaucrats to travel by train where the train connection is available particularly between Delhi and Dehradun and not use the helicopter or road transport which prove very costly. We have brought out a number of changes in the number of vehicles, which were unnecessary,” he said.

When asked about the welfare of the people living in remote areas of the state, Shri Khanduri said he would do everything to improve the pitiable condition of the people living in remote areas. “We will make all the resources available in these areas so that there may not be any inconvenience to those people and people don’t need to come down the places where facilities are available.

He said the efforts are being made to come out of the dept of Rs. 14000/- crore. Several steps have been taken to bring about financial discipline and austerity in the state, resulting in the saving of crores of rupees of the state exchequer during the last one-month.

Commenting on his government’s decision to put a ban on fresh appointments in the state, he said the reports on irregularities in ongoing appointments including issuing of backdated appointment letters made the government freeze all appointments that were in the pipeline. “There is no ban on fresh appointments. We want to first put a system in place where there is no scope of corruption or recommendations,” he added. He said the objective behind this whole exercise is to ensure that we should not commit the same mistakes that were made by the previous government and get caught in scams.

The focus is to put a foolproof system in place right from day one. He said the government has reiterated its resolve to check the spiraling prices of real estate in the state, much to the consternation of builders and property dealers. Shri Khanduri had hinted at it a few days before he took over as the Chief Minister. During the last two years or so, there had been phenomenal rise in real estate prices in Uttarakhand, particularly in Dehradun. The possibility of about 500 industrial units coming up near the BHEL in a few years resulted in manifold increase in the prices. The Uttarakhand Kranti Dal (UKD) had all along demanded introduction of Section 371 to check the rise in real estate prices.

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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Newly baptised believers and Pastors threatened and thrashed in Maharashtra

On Sunday 7th May , Pastor Ramesh D. Gopargode (34) and Pastor Ajit Belavi (35) of the "Friends Mission Church", Bangalore had set a church in Shahapur village , Maharashtra for the past 6 months. They had a small congregation of regular believers who attended the prayer meeting regularily.

7 believers expressed a great desire to embrace Jesus as Savior out of their own freewill.

The pastors of Friends Mission Church arranged the baptism of the 7 believers while returning after the baptism in the local river; they were waylaid by a mob of 65 RSS extremists.

The extremists questioned the believers and pastors of their activities. The terrified and poor newly baptized feigned ignorant about the pastors.

They abused the pastors in filthy language and also Christianity.After thrashing the pastors they dragged them to the nearby police station and lodged a false complaint of forcible conversion.

Pastor Ramesh and Pastor Ajit have been arrested filed under section 295A of the Indian Penal code.


Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Probe team indicts Catholic centre

THE HIGH Court-appointed special police team that probed the functioning of a Christian retreat centre in Kochi has filed a preliminary report making serious charges against the centre.

After a six-month investigation, the team has registered a case against the director of the centre, Father George Panackkal, and nine other office-bearers, including nuns- They have been booked under various charges, including forceful confinement, causing hurt by poison, cheating and destroying evidence. –

The team is learnt to have found that during 1996-2006, 927 “mysterious deaths” took place at the centre, and on many occasions the bodies were disposed of without informing the police. Documents were allegedly forged to make the deaths appear natural, the FIR said, demanding a detailed probe into the deaths.

Claimed to be the largest Catholic healing centre in the world, the Divine Retreat Centre in Muringoor, near Kochi, was in the news recently after one of the believers sent an anonymous letter to the High Court. The letter reportedly carried serious charges, including of sexual harassment, forceful confinement and murder, against the centre.

The court suo motu constituted a team headed by Inspector General of Police Vincent M Paul.

“Prima facie, we found some of the charges against the centre were right. A high-level inquiry is needed. So we filed an FIR. We are proceedthg agathst them,” IGP Paul told the Hindustan Times.

In the centre, the probe team found that people were locked up in cells in the name of healing. Those showing violent behaviour were often injected with unknown drugs by untrained persons.

Besides the FIR filed at the Koratty police station, the team has also filed a report before a magistrate recommending a probe into the foreign funding of the centre.
Reacting to the police action, Father George Panackkal said, “It is a concerted bid to destroy the centre. We are yet to see the details of charges filed against us.”

Source: Hindustan Times


Kerala police finds irregularities in Christian prayer centre

Police Monday filed a formal complaint against a leading Christian faith-healing centre in Kerala on the basis of the findings of a court-directed probe into allegations of criminal activities there.

From correspondents in India, 30 Apr 2007 - (

Police Monday filed a formal complaint against a leading Christian faith-healing centre in Kerala on the basis of the findings of a court-directed probe into allegations of criminal activities there.

The court-appointed special investigation team filed a first information report (FIR) at the police station here indicting Fr George Pannackal, director of the Muringur Divine Retreat Centre near Trissur district, and 10 other members of the staff, including nuns, confirmed Inspector General of Police Vincent Paul.

'In order to go ahead with the investigation an FIR is required and we have filed it. The director and 10 others have been named in the FIR,' Paul told IANS.

Acting on various complaints, the Kerala High Court had in March last year asked Paul to submit a report on allegations about criminal activities going on at the centre and irregularities in foreign funds received by it.

The centre, billed as Asia's biggest of its kind, was subjected to a surprise inspection by a joint team of police and state health department officials in September.

The inspection detected irregularities in the manner in which the centre was treating a large number of patients suffering from depression and alcoholism.

Following the scrutiny, politicians in the state, cutting across the party lines, raised a hue and cry while Pannackal urged the court to stop the inspections.

Justice R. Basanth dismissed the petition and ruled that the court has the right to order inspections even if it is a place of worship or prayer.

(Staff Writer, © IANS)