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.

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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.

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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.