Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Bush urged to discuss religious violence with Indian PM Manmohan Singh

Washington : Taking note of the recent violence against the Christian community in India, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom has urged President George W Bush to raise the matter with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during their meeting on Thursday.

"The US government can and should urge the Indian central government to make more vigorous and effective efforts to stem violence against religious minority communities," USCIRF Chairman, Felice Gaer, said in a letter to Bush.

"If India is to exercise global leadership as the largest and perhaps most pluralistic democracy in the world, Prime Minister Singh should demonstrate his governments commitment to uphold the basic human rights obligations to which it has agreed, including the protection of religious minorities," Gaer told the President while pointing out the attacks on Christians in the State of Orissa.

"The Indian governments response to the egregious violence in Orissa remains inadequate. When it was quickly evident that Orissa state police were unable to contain escalating violence in December 2007 and during the current riots... The central government has also yet to commit to a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation in the current Orissa violence," the Chair of the USCIRF notes.

"We support Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's pledge to offer urgently-needed assistance packages to survivors of the communal riots in Orissa. However, post-riot humanitarian aid does not obscure the need for both the Orissa state and the Indian central government to take action to address persistent sectarian tensions in Orissa, and to prevent future eruptions of violence. We request that you, Mr President, convey these concerns to the Prime Minister" she said.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

NCM blames Bajrang Dal for Karnataka, Orissa violence

New Delhi, Sep 21 (PTI) The National Commission for Minorities (NCM) has blamed Sangh Parivar outfit Bajrang Dal for the communal violence in the NDA-ruled states of Karnataka and Orissa.
"Our teams have returned from both the states. Activists of Bajrang Dal are involved in these attacks in both places. NCM will send reports on the whole gamut of communal clashes in the twin states to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh soon," NCM Chairman Md Shafi Qureshi told PTI.
Condemning the attack on churches in Kandhamal and other areas of Orissa and in Dakshina Kannada, Udupi, Chikmagalur and Mangalore in Karnataka, the Commission stressed the need for immediate confidence building measures to allay the fear from the minds of the minorities in both states.
Qureshi accused the Karnataka government of serious lapses in handling the situation. "The churches in different parts of the state were attacked one by one in succession and not all of a sudden. Something should have been done immediately when the attacks started," Qureshi said.
The Commission also demanded immediate arrest of the culprits so that "no one dares to repeat such incidents in future." Qureshi said tension still continues in Udupi and Mangalore in Karnataka.


Click for Source

Saturday, September 20, 2008

2008 Mangalore Church Attacks : Divide And Rule Successful ? The Verdict!

Taken from http://kcq8.wordpress.com

In 1978 a MP called O P Tyagi proposed the Anti-conversion Bill in parliament. The Christian community irrespective of denominations /groups fought back and fought back successfully. Many still remember the long walk they did from various churches in Mangalore to the Nehru Maidan and the fiery speeches that some of the Christian leaders had made.  The O P Tyagi bill never saw the daylight.  Then the embers of faith were still burning and the Christian leadership had the vision.

The church has always maintained that conversions have to be the work of God and man cannot convert others.  But the church also has fought for the freedom of belief and the freedom of practicing that faith. Which means the right to tell others about the good news of Jesus.  That was 1978. Have things changed for many in the Catholic church in these 30 years?

Let’s See :

  • Then the fight was to protect the right of sharing our faith with others without fear.
  • Today no one speaks about ‘sharing the faith’. It is “let’s keep our beliefs to ourselves!”.
  • Then we demonstrated as one body.
  • Today, the Bishop of Mangalore publicly stated that ‘It’s they (New Life) who did it …We have nothing to do with them’. Yes. The Bajrangdal did succeed in creating a division, and it can only harm us further.
  • And what was it that ‘New Life’ did? Preach the gospel. Some Catholics in some websites are finding that offensive. Have we given up our responsibility to share the gospel after all? Some may find the methods of New life not to their liking. That’s fair. But to oppose the work they are doing at the peril of their lives, the very work which every Christian is supposed to do, what does it speak about our own faith? Have we taken out Mathew chapter 28 and Mark chapter 16 from our bibles?
  • Last week hundreds of Christian young men, women and nuns braved the attacks of hooligans and the caning of the police to show that we do value our faith.
  • But today a couple of our leaders met with the leaders of Hindu organizations, shook hands with them, called it a ‘Peace meeting’ without even inviting the representatives of other churches and especially the ‘New Life’ whose views should also have been heard, who have categorically stated that they have not distributed any booklet attacking Hinduism. Not only that these so-called leaders who were not on the forefront last week when women and nuns were taking the beatings, today AGREED FOR AN AMICABLE SETTLEMENT! And what is that settlement? The catholic priest Fr. Serrao’s statement said it all “We did not at any point of time took up religious conversions nor approved of such actions by any church belonging to other sects”. Really? Why do you have ‘Missions Week’ every year if you do not approve ‘evangelization’ ??

The right which we fought to maintain 30 years and fought last week albeit peacefully taking those lashes, stone hits and stabbings, was sold today without even getting the mandatory 30 pieces of silver. O P Tyagi would have smiled …

Friday, September 19, 2008

Violence again in Kandhamal

A mob damaged a church and set some Christian homes ablaze shattering the government's claims that all is under control in Kandhmal. In two identical incidents in PIDI in Raikia block 8-10 houses set on fire and 34 hapless victims moved to the Raika camp. Accoring to sources the government authorities in are threatening shutting down of the camps this week.

Source: GCIC

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Activities of communal organisations on close watch : UPA

New Delhi, Sep 18 (PTI) Concerned over the communal incidents in Orissa, Karnataka and Kerala, the UPA government today said it was keeping a close watch on the activities of communal organisations including the Bajrang Dal.
"We are carefully and actively watching their activities," Information and Broadcasting Minister P R Dasmunsi told reporters here.
He was replying to a question whether the issue of Bajrang Dal activities figured in last night's special Cabinet meeting, in the wake of communal incidents in Kandhamal, Mangalore and Kerala.
"No issue will be allowed to be communalised. Government is not keeping quiet. Fundamentalism of all forms will be thwarted," Dasmunsi said.


Click here for source


So the UPA wants us to believe that it is not Communal?

India is in danger because of the ideology of Hindutva and it is that ideology that should be banned. It is not the 'soul of India' as Atal Bihar Vajpayee and his friends would like us to believe. It contains the soul of Hitler and is fascist at its core. Ironical to note that the so called Nationalists and Swadeshis have an ideology that itself is imported.

Hindutva must be abandoned if India is to be saved. Otherwise after consuming the vulnerable minorities the hate will also consume the nation. Politics and ideologies of hatred can never be and should not be tolerated in the civil society and have no place in a democracy like India. Jago India Jago.

Church burnt in Jabalpur while the center issues warning to Orissa and Karnataka

18 September 2008:

The St. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Jabalpur was set on fire by unidentified people today evening. The damage was not extensive but the altar and windows etc are burnt irreparably.

The fire was sighted by some bystanders who informed the priest in charge and hence the fire was noticed.

The police and the collector and all the government machinery was present at the venue when we tried to call them up, but it does not make a difference for there have been no arrests till now.

Pray for the Christians in Jabalpur

Meanwhile the center has given a warning to the states of Orissa and Karnataka under the article 355 of the constitution of India.

The center has asked the states to check the violence and the attacks on Churches or action will be taken.

The Article 355 says:

Duty of the Union to protect States against external aggression and internal disturbance

It shall be the duty of the Union to protect every State against external aggression and internal disturbance and to ensure that the government of every State is carried on in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution.

At last some words of relief from the center.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Europe's first state-funded Hindu school opens in the UK

By Riazat Butt

GUARDIAN NEWS SERVICE: Europe's first state-funded school for Hindus, which receives its spiritual guidance from the Hare Krishna movement, opened in London amid continued concern about the divisive nature of faith schools.

Krishna-Avanti primary school, in the north-west borough of Harrow, home to about a quarter of the UK's Hindu population, is welcoming 30 children to its temporary base at Little Stanmore primary school. The school will gradually increase in size until 2014, when it will have filled places for 236 pupils, including a nursery.

However, pupils will have to wait until next September to enjoy their new GBP10m building, which will have a meditation garden, an amphitheatre for outside teaching and eco-friendly innovations such as a grass roof.

Headteacher Naina Parmar said it was a "huge step forward for Britain's 1 million Hindus" before adding: "I want our school to be a haven of peace. Hinduism is a very inclusive faith, which naturally promotes a calm, caring and cooperative learning environment.

"This will be reflected not only in the curriculum but also in the school's ethos and environment."

The opening coincides with renewed calls for a reform of the government's policy on faith schools. Members of Accord, a coalition of religious and non-religious groups and individuals, warned that faith schools could have a negative impact on children.

Its chair, Rabbi Dr Jonathan Romain, said: "Some parents will feel reassured by a school that shares their faith and cultural background, but everybody should also be aware of the impact this may have - limiting their children's knowledge of and interaction with children from other cultures, and also depriving other community schools of Hindu participation."

He urged the school to teach pupils about other traditions and to follow the local religious education syllabus. He said it was also vital the school did not discriminate against non-Hindus when employing staff or bar children of other faiths from attending.

Nitesh Gor, chair of governors at Krishna-Avanti, rejected suggestions that the school would foster segregation and insularity. "Faith schools have an excellent record of providing high-quality education.

"By helping children to develop strong self-identities, the best faith schools also give children the confidence to play a full part in the wider community."


Our take on it: Political Correctness gone too far.

Survivors recount terror in Orissa, India

Posted on Sep 15, 2008 | by Staff

BHUBANESWAR, India (BP)--A Christian woman told of her husband being cut to pieces before her eyes.
A man described his brother being burned alive in his home after refusing to deny Christ.
These are two of the hundreds of stories emerging from India, where anti-Christian attacks carried out by mobs of extremist Hindus in the eastern state of Orissa have yet to be quelled.
"On a nightly basis, Hindu mobs stormed into villages and ransacked the homes of professed believers, taking all their possessions," a Christian worker reported. "After that, they would often beat or kill Christians who refused to deny their faith. In many terrifying cases, family members were forced to watch their loved ones being murdered in the hopes that [the families] would be convinced to return to Hinduism."
An Indian Christian worker recently visited one of the many camps set up to house Christians who have fled the terror. He recorded video interviews with two believers who were told to deny their faith or watch family members be martyred. See excerpts from the interviews here and here.
"The believers [in Orissa] desperately want your prayers and asked that we share their stories with believers around the world," the worker said. "Please share these videos with others in the Christian community. The Indian believers of Orissa desperately need our prayers."
Indian news services reported Sept. 15, however, that anti-Christian violence was continuing in Orissa and had spread to neighboring Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka states.
The anti-Christian violence began after the Aug. 23 assassination of a Hindu swami sparked mob attacks on Christian villages, churches and homes. The number of victims beaten, hacked or burned to death since the start of the attacks reportedly has topped 100. Tens of thousands of Christian villagers terrorized by Hindu extremists continue to hide in forests -- without adequate food and water -- or huddle in camps guarded by police.
Reports of forced "reconversions" of tribal Christians to Hinduism have emerged from several areas of the state.
A Maoist insurgent group active in Orissa has publicly claimed responsibility for murdering the swami and four of his followers, but Hindu extremists continue to blame the killings on Christians. Hindu mobs have attacked and burned hundreds of homes, churches, schools and orphanages, primarily in tribal districts where many Christians live. Christians, including up to 500,000 Baptists, reportedly comprise about 2.4 percent of Orissa's population of 36.7 million people.
Some Indian political and religious leaders have called for imposing federal rule and sending troops to Orissa, where the ruling Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) coalition government has been unable to stop the violence.
Christian representatives have met with India's president, the federal interior minister, Orissa's chief minister and other political leaders to ask for protection of Christians in Orissa.
The Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission has called on President George W. Bush and U.S. congressional leaders to intervene to bring an end to anti-Christian violence in Orissa.
Compiled from Baptist Press international sources.

Click here for Source

For God's Sake

The fire is spreading. First it was Orissa, then Madhya Pradesh. Now, Karnataka has emerged as the new battleground for the sangh parivar. Twelve Christian prayer halls in Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and Chikmagalur districts of Karnataka were targeted by mobs on Sunday.
These attacks could not have come at a worse time. The serial bomb blasts, first in Jaipur, then in Bangalore and Ahmedabad and now in Delhi, have created a climate of uncertainty and fear. We need to set aside our political differences and stand together to fight forces that threaten to weaken the secular fabric of this country.
A new arena of communal violence is the last thing this country needs now. State governments should realise the gravity of the situation and act accordingly.
The Orissa government was slow in reacting to the sangh parivar-led mobs that indulged in murder and arson after the murder of one of its senior leaders in the state. The minuscule Christian community in the tribal pockets of the state was blamed by the sangh parivar for the murder despite Maoists claiming responsibility for the killing.
Victims of the violence continue to live in a state of fear. As in Orissa, the sangh parivar has blamed religious conversion as the provocation for targeting the prayer halls. Religious conversion is legal in India. At the same time, legal measures are available to prevent forced conversion, or for that matter, forced reconversions. No religious group or political body can subvert the rights guaranteed under the Indian Constitution or the legal system and force its writ on the people.
It is time that the BJP reined in its affiliate outfits. Or, is it that these groups have now gathered a momentum of their own? The likes of Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal operate outside parliamentary democracy, unlike the BJP that aspires to form the government at the Centre. The VHP and the Bajrang Dal have no faith in the liberal framework of the Indian Constitution. Does the BJP subscribe to the VHP-Bajrang Dal idea of India? Leaders like L K Advani, the BJP’s PM-in-waiting, ought to be worried about the actions of the party’s affiliate groups.
Communal violence is primarily a law and order problem. A strong response from the state government should bring the situation under control in Karnataka. Chauvinists could be under the impression that a BJP government in office is an opportunity to break the law. The state government should not allow such perceptions to linger and crack down immediately on troublemakers. The country can't afford any delay on that.

Click here for source

Carry on Yeddyurappa...

Yeddyurappa asks missonaries not to go for forcible conversions

Bangalore (PTI): Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa on Monday urged Christian missionaries not to go for forcible conversion saying there is no room for such actions in a democracy.

"There is no room for forcible conversion in democracy. No one should indulge in it", he said.

Yeddyurappa appealed to people to maintain calm and asserted that action would be taken against those responsible for the attacks on churches in Mangalore, Udupi and Chikmagalur.

His remarks came in the wake of attacks on prayer halls of Christians in Mangalore and Udupi districts.

Yeddyurappa held a meeting with state's Home Minister Dr V.S. Acharya, Chief Secretary Sudhakar Rao and top officials of the home department to review the situation in the trouble-hit districts.

Source: The Hindu

Monday, September 15, 2008

Mangalore attack: Sangh Parivar has successfully done it!

Source: www.mangalorean.com (Do Visit their site for some excellent articles)

By Team Mangalorean, Mangalore

MANGALORE, September 15, 2008: This coastal city which had led a harmonious life since 1495 till 1997, its secular credential now stands questionable. And it appears that changing political system has had so much to contribute.  If one can recall BBC's Correspondent Mark Tully's commentary on the day Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated that sums up the condition of India. He had said on that fateful day "With Rajiv Gandhi gone the face of India is going to change -the political floor is now open for the communal parties and forces to walk all over the face of the country".

To quote late Prime minister of England Winston Churchill who was the prime minister when India attained independence "These scoundrels will tear apart the country and disintegrate it in fifty years."  Both Tully and Churchill were not ordinary people they were known to be the authorities on Indian socio-political conditions. The prophecies are now coming true as our politicians have started disintegrating the country for their own political gains.

In the recent times since the BJP's presence in the Parliament and the state assemblies has become more prominent the communal riots have become a common feature. At any part of time at any given time three major communities namely Hindus, Christians and Muslims are at loggerheads and the common factor appears to be the Sangh Parivar and their political arm BJP.

Monday Morning at Vamanjoor Church

Mangalore appears to be barometer of communal hatred. The 1998 communal riots in Surathkal was undoubtedly the worst situation when 17 people died. This was the time when the BJP had come to prominence in the state assembly and that was the first time when inflammatory speeches against other communities were openly made. The Surathkal police records show that was the first time families were attacked by both communities.

After that incident in 2006 October the city went into a week long dawn to dusk curfew for the first time in the history. In the intermittent period between 1998 and 2006 several incidents at much smaller and medium scales were taking place regularly and according to the police there were 36 incidents that had communal colour.

"Black Sunday"

But what happened on the "Black Sunday" on 14th September 2008 was a totally new chain of incidents. It is no less than the series of Bomb blasts that terrorists planted in Delhi a few days back. The series of well co-ordinated attacks on the minority community shrines and prayer halls were nothing less than exploding communal bombs. The Bajrang Dal is exactly trying to do that in their own ways.

It was a step towards making Karnataka a Gujarat the first one will be to tame the minorities deprive them of their social security and cow them down. This had happened in Gujarat when the majority community was pressurized to politically, socially and economically rusticated. 

It is significant to note that the peace loving Christians have now been added to the list of  Bajrang Dal for their nefarious designs for the political gains. Christians had never came to a street fight but this time they had no other way but to protest in some way. All the peaceful protests have been met by violent actions from the administration like caning them and arresting them and tear gassing them. These measures should have been taken by the police on the rioters.

The rioting, stone pelting, tyre burning and road blocks continued unabatedly on Sunday and the situation appeared to be calmer on Monday morning. But with the public transport system coming to a halt the normal life will not be possible for the Mangaloreans even on Monday. Schools and Colleges, banks, business establishments and markets may not function with their full girth on Monday also.

According to the bus operators they will not resume the operations till fully safety of their vehicles and crew are ensured by the police.

Monday morning was not normal

Even as the city wore a deserted look the people were trying to normalize the life in the city. The Milk delivery was normal, few vegetable shops, bakeries and few medical shops were open, but behind this veil of normalcy there was tension.

Christian devotees had begun to gather in their respective Churches and the Church bells were ringing unabatedly and according to leaders of the community, they are afraid even today as they feel threatened and terribly insecure. Churches were the institutions that offered tremendous solace and strength but the motives behind the attacks on Churches had made them conscious of their safety in the city.

The people gathered at Bendur, Bijai, Valencia, Milagres, Ashoknagar, Nagori etc in front of the church entrances.  There were also a number of people praying inside the church.

Most of the public transport has been reduced to a minimum.  The few buses which were on the roads in the morning were stopped by the crowd.  The police have been deployed at all the churches.

At Bendur church, the parish priest Fr. Noronha spoke along with Sr. Agnesia, Fr. Vincent and Leslie Rego.  They stressed that it was time for the Christians to fight for their rights and to make their voice heard not just at the State level but right up to the Central Government level from where strict action was expected.

At Valencia church a large crowd had gathered as well.  The parish priest, Fr. Bonaventure Nazareth and Arun Raj Rodrigues spoke demanding the arrest of the activists who had already taken responsibility for the atrocities committed yesterday. They also called for a complete ban of the Bajrang Dal in the State.

The Churches of South India which has its head in Bangalore has sent its top people to Mangalore and its Bishop Francis Jackson who is also the leader of the JD(S) in the state has appealed to the people not to take any drastic action.

The Bajrang Dal activists however have indicated that the attacks will continue till such a time the CSI churches especially the New Life sect stops forcible religious conversions.

Monday Morning at Bendur Church

More attacks

The latest list of attacks on late Sunday was the Padua chapel was attacked at 9.15 pm as some youth on motorcycles threw stones and banged the gates. They targeted the glass parts of buildings.

In another attack on Sunday evening miscreants desecrated a statue located in front of  Carmelites' house in Katkere, near Koteshwar in Udupi district according to the police. The attacks appear to be coming in waves and in well co-ordinated modus operandi.

The Christian communities in Chikmagalur mainly in Basavanahally, Rathnagirinagara, Azadnagar have confirmed that there was intense tension in the city for the last two days and they have felt that youths were being mobilized for some nefarious activities.

A Christian organization in Tumkur district have also reported an attack on a church in Tiptur but the police have no information on that. 

The Bajrang Dal state convenor Mahendra Kumar had clarified on Sunday only the New Life sect prayer halls were attacked but on Sunday the Padua chapel has been targeted for attack comes as a shock to the Catholic church.  The Vishwa Hindu Parishat however was quick to react and said the attack on Padua church was a mistake. This chapel is located in the premises of Padua pre-university college at Nanthoor.  According to the Kadri police have given protection to the chapel says Superintendent of Police Satheesh Kumar.

The Adoration Monastery behind the Milagres Church has been given adequate security also.

To end this analysis it is pertinent to quote Karl Marx who has said " Religion is the opium of the people" Die Religion ... ist das Opium des Volkes"(in German) in his Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right.

It looks like Bajrang Dal activists have taken an overdose of the religious opium to unleash such barbarism on world culture.

Details of Sunday attacks outside Mangalore City


We have now information regarding the incidents that took place on Sunday throughout DK. The excertpts are taken from persecution.in

1.SHIROOR: In one incident at Shiroor, Niragadh, Udupi district, at about 10.15 as the small congregation of believers had assembled for Sunday worship a gang of 50 plus VHP radicals armed with tridents, saffron flags barged into the hall and started praising the Orissa action against Christians. In the meantime a small group rushed to the pastor and unleashed savage attack with machetes on the right hand and right leg .Blood splashed all over and the blood smeared. bibles and hymn books were instantaneously consigned to attacked by the rabid terrorists. Pastor Abraham was admitted in a serious condition to Angeli hospital

Before they left they have also set fire to all the vehicles parked outside. The radicals also threatened Pastor Abraham’s wife Binsi with death and said that they will repeat the same kind of attacks what took place in Orissa.
Apart form this attack, there are reports of Six major attacks of churches with 7 believers seriously injured.

2. UDUPI: In an another attack in a place called udupi, a two and half year Samuel is said to be in serious condition in Udupi government hospital along with four persons from New life church Udupi. Pastor Gopinath is serving as pastor in New life church Udupi for the last twenty two years.

3. MUDUR: In an other attack on Immanuel church in Mudur, Kundapura, Udupi district. As Pastor Sunil Kumar was conducting the worship service in the church adjacent to his house, it happened at around 10.30 am a group of 20 Hindu radicals arrived on a jeep barged into the church and attacked the attendees. The church consisted of Orphan children and few others. No external injuries were reported. The goons after the attack on the church got into the Pastor Immanuel’s residence and broke furniture, television, Steel Cloth racks, and telephone.

4. BELTHANGADI: During a worship service in a place called kayarphaduka, in Belthangadi taluk, Mangalore district, a group of Hindu radicals face masked arrived on 2 jeeps and barged into the hall with swords and attacked pastor Christudas aged 40 yrs. It was reported from our sources that the radicals had come to hit and cut the neck of the pastor, but during the attack the Hindu radicals using the long sword left deep cuts on his both hands, legs and all over his body. The goons then got into the parsonage and completely destroyed all the furniture and household items. The pastor was rushed to the nearest Belthangadi taluk hospital and as they did not admit him there and was asked to take him immediately to Mangalore Medical College.
Pastor Christudas has been serving the Lord in this area since 10 years.

5. BELTHANGADI: At 10.15 am, during a Konkini worship service at a church called New Life Church at Modunpher, Mangalore District, a group of 20 Hindu radicals face masked entered into the church and attacked 5 believers leaving them injured. It was also reported from our sources that some property of the church was also damaged. The injured are admitted to the local hospital. Name of the pastor is not yet known.

6. MOODABIDRI: Hindu radicals entered the house of Pastor Gunasekaran, and attacked his house and as the attack took place Pastor’s wife and his children fearing ran for their lives. The radicals then destroyed all the furniture and household items leaving the house in disorder. Pastor’s daughter noticed the car number and informed the matter to the Police and based on the information Police arrested two people from the group of attackers.
During the attack, pastor Gunasekaran who pastors a church called Christ Glorious Ministry had gone to attend an English worship service. Pastor Gunasekaran is doing ministry in this place since 17 years.
No reports of any injuries. This place is 36 kms away from Mangalore district.

7.BANGALORE: There was report of an attack in a church at yeshwantpur.

8.KULOOR: Blessing Assemblies of God church was attacked by a group of Hindu radicals. Pastor Samraj who ministers this church, his wife and 2 believers has been attacked and Injured. They are admitted to Wenlock Government Hospital. Our sources have reported that there are 7-8 Injured during the attack. A gold chain of a lady attendee was snatched by Hindu radicals during the attack. Musical Instruments and other church furniture’s are damaged.

9. KODICAL: A church of South India (CSI) church was attacked and attackers broke all the window panes, PA system and furniture’s of the church.

10.HEMANAGATTA: Hindu radicals attacked a church called Miligrais Church and Major statue of Mother Mary was destroyed and also other statues of the church. Also the radicals broke the window panes and furniture’s of the church.
No reports of any injuries.

11. JAYAPURA: A church in Jayapura, in chickmangalur district was attacked by Hindu radicals at 10.30 am. The name of the church is End Time Full gospel Church and Pastor Anthony ministers this church. It happened that, as the worship service was going on a group of 30 members of a radical group barged into the church with wooden clubs, Cycle chains and long swords and attacked the Pastor and the believers of the church. Our sources have reported that 8 ladies were Injured including a pregnant lady. The Pastor, a church believer and an Old man also was reported injured during the attack. They were admitted to the nearest hospital for first aid. The goons even broke window panes, furnitures and other valuable things of the church.

12. KADUR: Pastor Dhanraj who ministers a House church (Name not known) in a place called Shingettikere, Kadoor was attacked by a group of Hindu radicals after the worship service. No major injuries was reported. The radicals have damaged property, furnitures and Musical Instruments of the House church.The following believers were arrested. 1.Kalleshappa(52), Savgithramma(42)Nalini (40)Rajanna (45)
Kadoor is 30 kms away from Chickmangalur district. Pastor Dhanraj is serving the Lord in this place since 3 years.

13.PUTTUR: Mount Zion Assemblies of God church was attacked at around 10.30 am. Pastor P.I Joy (42 yrs) ministers this church. It happened that as the worship service got started a group of 100 members from a Hindu radical group arrived to the Premises of the church with wooden clubs and stones. Among the 100 members, 30 members barged into the church and without any conversation with the church members or Pastor the Hindu radicals started to beat the Pastor and Assistant pastor Babu John (30 Yrs). During the attack Pastor P.I Joy’s left hand was broken and one finger cut down.
The radicals then destroyed the roof, musical instruments and other church related things. The goons also got into the Pastor’s house and destroyed all his household things. Pastor’s car was destroyed too.
Both Pastors have been admitted to Mahaveer Hospital at Puttur for treatment. Pastor P.I Joy had to undergo an operation tomorrow to have steel rod plates to be placed where he had his broken bones.
Police arrived to the spot and took details of the incident.
Pastor P.I Joy is ministering in this place since 11 years.

Churches attacked in Mangalore

Source: http://kcq8.wordpress.com/ 
Section 144 for 3 days. A pastor in Shiroor injured. A nun hospitalized in Mangalore. Vehicles Burnt. Police teargas and Lathi charge Protestors. Bandh called on Monday.

The RSS - Bajrangdal have carried out attacks against catholic, protestant and believers churches in Mangalore, Udupi and other places Sunday morning.  The attacks were carried out by groups of men belonging to these extremists groups, who entered churches, broke statues, altars, furniture and created mayhem. The attacks took place in Udupi, Mangalore, Belthangady, Kodaikal, Chikmagalore and Koloor,  Kundapur, Karkal, Koppa, Balehonnoor and Moodbidri.
The CSI Church near Kodical, the Adoration monastery near Milagres Church, Newlife Centre located in the Krista Kripa building in Udupi and the New Life prayer centre have been severely damaged. As the attacks took place, catholic churches all over Mangalore started ringing their bells continuously and huge crowds started gathering near churches and raising slogans against the attackers.  Roads were blocked and stones pelted and the Police have used teargas to disperse the crowd. Traffic in Mangalore was totally disrupted as movement of vehicles was blocked completely near Hampankatta. The Dakshina Kannada administration has now imposed Section 144 in the district.
The RSS- Bajrang dal claimed that the attacks were against New Life churches who they said had published books asking people not to worship hindu gods.

A church in Shiroor was attacked and the Pastor (Pastor Sunil) was among the injured. Two churches were attacked and a car and bike were set on fire in Udupi. Prayer halls at Kuloor Madanthyar and Shaktinagar have been attacked. A num in Mangalore has been hospitalized and there are reports of more injuries. Widespread destruction of church property, equipment and furniture has been reported. A group of people also are reported to have beaten up a few innocent christians at Gurpur.

The attacks seem to have been well planned.

(Photo courtesy : www.mangalorean.com)

CBI probe sought into Kandhamal violence

Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: The National Federation of Indian Women (NFIW) has demanded a Central Bureau of Investigation probe into the killing of Swami Lakshmanananda and the subsequent communal riots in Kandhamal district of Orissa.

The NFIW team, led by its general secretary Annie Raja, visited the riot-torn district from September 9 to 12. In a statement issued here on her return from Kandhamal, the NFIW said a judicial inquiry was inadequate.

The situation in the district was tense and the sense of security was absent among the Christian minority community.

The condition of the relief camps was pathetic and around 20,000 people were living in these camps with inadequate medical facilities. Even camps with more than 700 children and around 30 pregnant women did not have a paediatrician or a gynaecologist, Ms. Raja said.

Real situation

The visiting team found that the real situation in Kandhamal district did not match the statements made by the Central and State governments before the Supreme Court.

Demanding that women’s organisations and civil society organisations be allowed to participate in the relief operations, the NFIW said rehabilitation work should be taken up on a war footing. Proper medical facilities should be provided at these camps, with special arrangements for children to write the Class X and XII examinations.


Attack on churches in Karnataka state-sponsored, says Congress

Even as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today spoke to Karnataka Governor Rameshwar Thakur and Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa about attacks on churches in the state, Congress blamed the Sangh Parivar for the assaults and said they were "state-sponsored".
"Sangh Parivar appears to have launched a national mission to attack and demolish the churches. Orissa is a glaring example of the atrocities being unleashed by the Sangh Parivar...The atrocities are nothing but communal terrorism", Congress media department chairman M Veerappa Moily said in a statement here.
Condemning the attacks in Karnataka as "state-sponsored communal terrorism", he said, "The Karnataka Home Minister himself ordered for the release of the culprits who committed this heinous crime".
Demanding immediate action from the state government on the issue, the party said it will have no option but to approach the Centre for appropriate action if the state government failed to do anything about it.
Moily alleged that the attacks on churches and places of worship in Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and Chickmaglur districts of Karnataka were carried out by Sangh Parivar outfits.
Bureau Report


Nine churches attacked in Karnataka

Bangalore, Sept 14 (PTI) Suspected Bajrang Dal activists today attacked nine churches in parts of coastal and Malnad districts of Karnataka, protesting alleged conversion of Hindus into Christianity by missionaries.
The attacks, believed to have been planned and executed in the morning, left at least eight persons, including two pastors, injured, police said.
The pastors were injured in Sirur and Jayapura.
Churches in Singtagere, Magodu, Jayapura in Chikmagalur district of Malnad region, prayers halls in Udupi, Sirur and Mudur in Udupi district, Kodikkal, Falnir and Afla Centre in Mangalore were the target of the attacks, they said.
Motorcycle-borne miscreants barged into prayer halls and ransacked them, they said, adding additional reinforcements have been sent in view of the violence.
Five persons have been arrested in Udupi in connection with the attacks, they said.
In Mangalore, the authorities have clamped prohibitory orders for three days from today, police said.


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After Orissa its Karnataka's turn

Two pastors and six others were injured in simultaneous attacks carried out on 14 churches and prayer halls by suspected Bajrang Dal activists in coastal districts of Mangalore,  Udupi and the neighboring district of Chikmagalur, on Sunday.

Eyewitnesses told the police that some motorcycle-borne miscreants barged into prayer halls and ransacked them.

A statue of Jesus Christ was damaged in a prayer hall next to Milagres’ Convent in Mangalore City. While some of these churches belonged to the Pentecostal Mission, the rest were of Roman Catholics. The pastors were injured at Sirur in Udupi and Jayapura in Chikmagalur.

The attackers apparently were protesting against an alleged conversion drive by missionaries in the region.

The attacks triggered protests and sit-in on roads from Christians in Mangalore and Chikmagalur. Later, policemen caned protests to facilitate smooth flow of traffic.  Prohibitory orders have been put in place under Section 144 of the CrPC  in Mangalore for the next three days. “We are perplexed at such simultaneous attacks. All of them were carried out between 10:15 am and 10:30 am. We don't know the provocation, but it's probably because of the reports of conversion. We are questioning some youth. No one has been taken into custody,”  said A M Prasad, the IGP Eastern Range.

The Pradesh Congress chief and the Opposition leader in the assembly, Mallikarjun Kharge, has demanded a judicial probe into the attacks.

“These attacks have taken place  in  Home Minister Dr V S Acharya’s district. Therefore, he must quit his post on moral grounds,”  Kharge told reporters.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has raised the issue with Karnataka Governor Rameshwar Thakur and Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa and asked them to ensure communal harmony “at all costs”.

“The law and order situation in Karnataka has reached its nadir and minorities are particularly being targeted to intimidate and silence them from performing their legitimate religious rites. The Sangh parivar is being given a free hand by the state government,’’ alleged Congress spokesman Veerappa Moily.

Chruch damaged in Indore

In Indore, a Protestant church in Chhawni area was set afire by miscreants late on Saturday night leading to minor damage to the building. The church has been a bone of contention between two factions within the same community, said police sources.

With inputs from HTC, Indore

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Prayer halls attacked in Karnataka

Karnataka Bureau

Bangalore: Twelve Christian prayer halls were attacked allegedly by pro-Hindu groups in Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and Chikmagalur districts of Karnataka on Sunday. In Dakshina Kannada district alone, at least eight prayer halls were targeted and one person was stabbed.

Three halls were attacked in Mangalore (at Hampanakatta, Kulur and Kodical), and Nettana in Puttur taluk, Madantyar in Belthangady taluk, Moodbidri, Puttur and Permannur near Thokkottu.

In Kankanady, police prevented an attack and arrested three persons.

Thousands of Christians took to the streets to protest against the attacks.

Eighteen persons, including 10 policemen and three women, were injured in three incidents of stone throwing — two in Mangalore and one at Madantyar in Belthangady. The demonstrators pelted stones at the policemen when they tried to disperse them.

Prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Cr. PC have been imposed for three days in Mangalore taluk.

The stone-throwing incident at Milagres in Mangalore occurred minutes before Union Minister of State for Labour and Employment Oscar Fernandes visited it..

All the attacks reportedly took place when people were offering prayers around 10.30 a.m. The miscreants claimed the attacks were in protest against religious conversion.

Dakshina Kannada district president of Bajrang Dal Sudarshan Moodbidri said the attacks were carried out by the Hindu community.

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Churches attacked, M'lore tense

DH News Service, Mangalore:

Thousands of Christians staged road blockades in several parts of the city on Sunday, after suspected Bajrang Dal activists carried out a series of attacks on prayer halls in Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and Chikmagalur districts, alleging conversion...

Police resorted to caning to disperse the protesters, including nuns and women, in the evening near Milagres Hall complex, while a few people threw stones at the police. In the melee, some were hurt and a few vehicles damaged.
The district administration has clamped ban orders in these areas for three days, starting Sunday.
The places of worship which were attacked in Dakshina Kannada include Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration Monastery in Mangalore city, Christ Church at Kodikal near Mangalore, Believers Church of India at Puttur, Mahima Prathanalaya and Indian Pentecostal (both at Madanthyar in Belthangady taluk) and Bethesda Aradanalaya at Sullia.

The modus operandi of all the attacks was similar: a group of 20-25 persons barged into the prayer halls between 10 am and 10.30 am, damaged the furniture and desecrated the statues of Jesus Christ.
As news spread, Christians in Mangalore came onto the streets in large numbers and blocked roads till night. Union Minister Oscar Fernandes visited the protesters near Milagres in the evening.
When contacted, Special Branch Inspector Vinay Gaonkar said seven policemen had been injured and eight vehicles, including two belonging to the police, had been damaged. The police resorted to lathi-charge at Milagres and Thokkuttu to disperse the crowd.
Meanwhile, Bajrang Dal state convener Mahendra Kumar, speaking to mediapersons here, said the attack was targeted not on the Catholic churches but the New Life groups.
Alleging that New Life had been converting Hindus to Christianity, he said Bajrang Dal activists had observed the happenings in the prayer halls for the last three Sundays before conducting the attack.
A booklet, Satya Darshini, distributed in certain prayer halls, which allegedly hurt the religious sentiments of Hindus, is another reason for the attack, he said. Though he had told a private television channel in the morning that the Bajrang Dal had carried out the attacks and would continue to do so, later he said that the attacks were conducted by the locals and the Bajrang Dal gave them the external support.
In Udupi
In Udupi, miscreants arrived in three vehicles at around 10.20 am and attacked a New Life prayer hall behind the KSRTC bus stop and damaged the keyboard, piano and an overhead projector. Similar attacks were reported in the prayer halls of New Life Church at Shiroor near Baindoor and Mudur near Kollur. Security has been beefed up at the prayer halls following the attacks.
Speaking to Deccan Herald, Udupi SP Pravin Pawar said a case had been registered and teams formed to trace the miscreants. No one has been arrested so far, he added.
In Chikmagalur
Three places of worship were attacked in Chikmagalur, while the police managed to abort an attempt on a church near Dantramakki.
Yavana Swami Church at Magodu village was attacked at 10.30 am and the miscreants assaulted Pastor Samiulla.
In Koppa taluk, Time and Paul Gospel Harvest prayer hall was ransacked by about 20 miscreants.  Women and men, engaged in prayer, were also assaulted. Police have booked cases against 15 persons but none have been arrested.

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Sunday, September 14, 2008

Orissa continues to simmer

Orissa continues to simmer under communal tension as physical violence against Christians refuses to die down. In 2 separate incidents in Kurttamgarh, which is 25 kilometers from Baliguda and 7 kilometers from the Ashram of Swami Laxmananada Saraswati in Jalaspeta, 40 houses and 5 Churches were reportedly burnt down by a mob.

Yesterday i.e. September 12 saw the destruction and burning of 1 church and 1 Mission Hostel in Mangapanga, Tumulibandh, 3 churches in Mundabali, Badipankha, and 1 church in Baringia in Phulbani. An estimated 40 houses were also torched by the attackers.

Today i.e. September 13, around 4 pm an angry mob again struck the area of Kruttamgarh and burnt a CNI church and several houses including the house of a Christian Sarpanch. The CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force) saw the mob and fired in the air to disperse them but to their surprise the mob fired back with guns at the CRPF and injured 2 jawans, of whom one is quite serious and has been sent to Behrampur for treatment.

The CRPF retaliated and in their firing, 2 people are believed to have been killed and around 20 have been injured.

Later in the evening at around 10:40 pm, Naxals striked at 2 villages near Raikia and according to unconfirmed reports have completely destroyed the villages. The Church authorities have been informed by the police to be ready for another backlash which could be as serious as the violence that erupted right after Laxmananda’s death or could be even worse.


In the midst of all of this, a few days ago, the Orissa administration let Ashok Singhal the controversial VHP leader visit the area. The recent happenings are believed to be a result of the propaganda carried out by the VHP via Ashok Singhal. He reportedly made demands that included the release of the rioters arrested by the police since the violence started against Christians.

Another thing that has come to light from the recent incident is the use of firearms by the Hindutva militia on the CRPF. The media of India especially the vernacular media has been quick to label any minority with the terrorist tag whenever an incident happens and indicates minority involvement.

But the Hindutva brigade has been excused so far. So you can have a Muslim terrorist, a Sikh terrorist, a Christian insurgent or Militant (recently used term) but so far the media has never used the word Hindutva militant for miscreants who kill in the name of religion and now are even attacking state forces. This is where all the Trishul Dikshas and arms trainings will bring the nation to. It seems that these things are not used for self defense as the RSS claims but for genocide.

While majority of Hindus are peace loving people, it is the RSS and its affiliates with their fascist ideology who should be controlled and it is up to the administration, governance and the media to exercise their power for the above purpose.

80 year old Church burnt in Indore, Madhya Pradesh

13 September 2008: Masihi Mandir Church, an 80 year old landmark in the city of Indore was burnt by suspected VHP activists in Indore today in the evening.

The Church had also been attacked sometime ago by Bajrang Dal members and they had broken down its window panes, furniture and fixtures during that attack.

The Church is only a few meters away from the Chawni Police station but even that has not stopped it from being an easy target of the hate forces.

The damage due to fire has not been very extensive but doors, windows and other wooden material has been burnt irrecoverably.

Christian Persecution India blog condemns this incident and calls for unity in the Church of Indore to address this issue. 

Terror strikes national capital: Seven dead, 50 injured

New Delhi, Sept 13 (PTI) Terror struck the national capital this evening leaving at least seven people killed and over 50 injured in six near simultaneous blasts in a span of 17 minutes in three crowded market places.
Indian Mujahideen, shadow amalgam of banned SIMI and Lashker-e-Taiba, claimed responsibility for the serial blasts through an email sent to news organisations at almost same time when the blasts took place.
The first explosion rocked Gaffar market area of Karol Bagh in Central Delhi at 6.15 PM. The explosive was kept near a Maruti car. The impact of the blast was so severe that an auto was thrown up several feet.
This was followed by three blasts in Connaught Place area and two in Greater Kailash in South Delhi.
An unexploded explosive device was found at India Gate.



We at Christian Persecution India condemn the blasts. It is a sorrowful state of affairs that innocent people have to die in this senseless manner.

But if these bomb blasts are used for political brick bating and for scoring votes, then it will be sadder still.

Now is the time to stand with our people and to let the world know that Dilli does have a heart that is not so weak that it will shatter with a few explosions. True we have lost our dear ones but DILLI has not lost its zest for life.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Look who's talking now: Modi comes heavily on the UPA for failing to deal with Terror.

Modi attacks UPA govt on terror, conversion

Bangalore, Sept 12 (PTI) Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi today led the BJP attack on the UPA for being "soft" on terrorism, claiming the ruling coalition had "failed" on national security issues by refusing to clear an anti-terror legislation for his state.
"Those who are less for terror and more for terrorists are the one who opposes GUJCOC and POTA," Modi said, lashing out at the Congress-led UPA for keeping in cold storage the Gujarat Control of Organised Crime bill (GUJCOC) which was pending before the President for the last four years.
Intervening during the discussion on political resolution at party's national executive meeting here, Modi said "we are determined to carry on the battle both against terrorists and against those who prevent us from fighting terror".
Hitting out at the Congress president and the prime minister, Modi claimed the party had "under Sonia Gandhi and Dr Manmohan Singh drifted from the traditional Congress position on national sovereignty" which has strengthened the forces which are out to weaken India.
The UPA government has consistently sent a signal that its softness on terror is minority friendly, Modi alleged and added "the repeal of POTA, non-execution of (Parliament attack convict) Afzal Guru, refusal to give assent to GUJCOC are all evidence of government's softness on terror.
"The softness on terror is beign used by the UPA as an instrument for vote bank politics," Modi charged.
Commenting on religious conversions by missionaries Modi claimed it was being protected and increased eventhough "it has an adverse impact on demography and creates social tensions".


Lilly From The Forest, Yes That Is What She Is!!

BHUBANESWAR, SEPT. 08, 2008, 11.00 Hrs (Thomas Pallithanam Sdb/CBCI News):

It was past mid-day, 15.00 hrs to be precise, 26th August and Minaki was 9 months pregnant and her baby was due any day. That is when the rampaging crowd of RSS, VHP and Bajarang Dal attacked the Christian half of the village of Barakhama. Minaki along with the others fled to the forest. There she delivered her baby in fear and trembling, on the third day in the forest.

It is past 02.00 hrs (September 7, 2008). I am just back from a visit to Kandhamal. And morning I should leave for Hyderabad enroute to Nasik. But this story cannot wait. For this is the story of life in the midst of death and suffering, hopelessness and fear. Fear, yes, that is why I had to go to Kandhamal, to break the shackles of fear within me and within so many like me. I would not have forgiven myself if I had not gone to Kandhamal. It is true everyone advised against it. But the risk had to be taken. If anything happened to me then we would know that the danger is for real. If I returned safe then we could all make a start in reaching out to those out there. It was a risk worth taking.

I am glad I went. I requested Mr. Bibhuti Pati a Tehelka Journalist to take me as his photographer. His identity would be a cover. The shield would always be HIM. And HE took me to Barakhama, the village that had seen intense strife during the last bout of violence. This was even worse. Two were killed in the clashes. But for now let us talk about life.

As the marauding crowd descended on the village, Minaki rang for her life and for the life within her to the shelter of the forest. Famished and exhausted, keeping herself alive for the life that she would bring to this earth, the little one was born on the third day of the stay in the forest, in the cool of the night. I asked her ``What name are you going to give her - Vanamika? Quick came the reply ``Lily!`` - Lily of the forest!

Doesn`t she look cute? She does. She also brings hope, hope for tomorrow, for another world that is possible, where all can grow and bloom and spread the fragrance of peace and joy, and for a people ``that will not be broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls``


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Orissa Guv directs admn to restore peace in Kandhamal

Phulbani ( Orissa ) :Orissa Governor Murlidhar Chandrakanta Bhandare after paying a two-day visit, on Wednesday asked officials to restore peace in communally sensitive areas of Kandhamal district.
He visited Kurmingia village where a prayer house was burnt down. Despite the incessant rain he managed to visit Kandhamal and met the violence-affected people.
He talked to Chakrabarati Nayak and Arun Nayak whose houses were burnt down by miscreants. He also talked with a number of people of Kurmingia village and heard their grievances. He even spoke to children and held a photo session with them. He also visited the house of the Naib Sarpanch Salila Pradhan and urged her to actively participate in the peace process initiated by the district administration.
Later the Governor visited the relief camp at G Udayagiri and talked to the violence-affected people. "You all should repose confidence in the administration," the Governor said.
In the evening Bhandare held a high-level meeting with the officials and directed them to take all possible steps to restore peace. He will visit Jalespata Ashram under Tumudibandha Block of Kandhamal on Wednesday where Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati and four others were killed.
Demanding food and work around 1,000 women gheraoed the G Udyagiri block. Later the administration intervened and assured that all possible steps would be taken to solve the problem. Revenue Minister Manmohan Samal said work under NREG would start soon in Kandhamal.

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India: where Christians are a target for the religious murder mobs

This article is from TimesOnline.co.uk

The mob appeared an hour after sunset, armed with axes, clubs and paraffin. The carnage that followed would have been much worse if the Christians of Gadragaon, a remote village in northeast India, had not been warned by text message: “The Hindus are coming to kill you.”

The alert gave most enough time to flee to the jungle, where 114 of them would hide for a week, drinking rainwater and foraging for food.

But the warning did not come early enough for those unable to run. “They doused him with petrol and taunted him; we could hear him screaming,” said Ravindra Nath Prahan, 45, of his paralysed brother, Rasananda, 35, who was burnt alive by Hindu fanatics. “I could have tried to save him. But we had to save ourselves.”

The attack on Gadragaon, by a mob that chanted “Hail Mother India” as they razed the village, was among the first of the grim litany of atrocities committed against minority Christians in the state of Orissa over the past two weeks. The Vatican has called the wave of violence “a sin against God and humanity”.

A nun has been gang-raped; a worker at a church-run orphanage burnt alive. In the Kandhamal district, the site of the worst attacks, Kamalini Naik, who was seven months pregnant, was ordered to denounce Christianity and convert to Hinduism by a baying mob. When she refused, she and her one-year-old son were “cut into pieces”, witnesses said.

So far 36 deaths have been recorded by the Catholic Church — compared with 16 by the state authorities, which have been accused of being complicit in the tragedy.

With the worst violence occurring in remote regions, there are fears that the toll is much higher. “It is hard to tell. The mobs are burning their victims,” said Father Ajay Singh, who is trying to keep a list of the dead in the office of the Archbishop in Bhubaneswar, the state capital.

Of the estimated 50,000 Christians forced to flee, most have little to go back to: more than 3,000 homes and 115 churches have been destroyed.

The villagers of Gadragaon watched from their hiding places as their possessions were looted, their cornfields and banana gardens spoiled and their goats slaughtered. Then they walked for more than 200 kilometres (125 miles), most of them barefoot, through the jungle to reach a makeshift sanctuary at a dilapidated YMCA hall.

“They said that we must convert if we want to return. We can never go back,” Ravindra Prahan said. A mountain of a man who served in the Indian Army, he now wears the shell-shocked expression of a wounded veteran.

Many are similarly scarred. Namrata, 8, one of more than 8,000 refugees held at a camp in Raikia, was badly burnt when Hindu fanatics torched her family's house. She has bad dreams and says she is too frightened ever to go home.

Hindu extremists claimed the attacks were a spontaneous reaction to the murder of a local Hindu leader. Others believe they were orchestrated — as the purge began trees were felled to block roads across the region to prevent Christians from escaping.

On Thursday India's Supreme Court ordered the Orissa government to answer charges that local police had stood by — an accusation also made by paramilitary forces drafted in from other parts of the country.

Orissa has a dark history of intolerance. Last Christmas 95 churches were razed and at least five Christians murdered. At the time, the unrest — far surpassed in the past two weeks — was branded the worst anti-Christian violence in India since Independence.

The roots of the current misery have festered for generations. Despite being enormously rich in mineral resources, Orissa is one of the sub-continent's poorest regions. Its low-caste Hindus and tribal populations are among the world's most impoverished people.

It is from these groups that most Christian converts have come — attracted by the opportunity to study at church-run schools and the chance to leave the lowest rungs of Hinduism's rigid caste system.

“There is resentment among some Hindus that the Church has reached out to these people, for whom nothing was being done,” said Father Prabodha Pradhan, one of the many Christians in Orissa who now owe their lives to Hindus who hid them as they were hunted by fanatics. “Some feel threatened.” However, the state's Christians make up only 2.4 per cent of the population — in line with the figure for India as a whole.

Other movements are also recruiting among Orissa's poor — notably, the Naxalites, a fierce cadre of atheist Maoist militants whose influence now extends across half of India.

Compared to the AK47-toting communist guerrillas, however, Orissa's Christians have made soft targets. “We don't fight. We are not many,” Father Prabodha said.

There are now fears that the attacks directed against Christians in Orissa may be replicated against other religious minorities across India as far-right Hindu groups seek to mobilise support ahead of general elections that must be held before May.

The latest violence was triggered by the murder on August 23 of Swami Lakhmananda Saraswati, a local figurehead of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), an extremist Hindu organisation. Ignoring a claim of responsibility from the Naxalites for the assassination, the VHP immediately accused Christians.

Some suggest that the VHP and its parent organisation, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a Hindu fundamentalist group that holds sway over India's largest opposition party, the BJP, have exploited Saraswati's death to achieve a long-stated mission: to make Orissa “a poster state for Hindutva (Hindu-ness)”.

Religion and caste

— India's Constitution is secular. Hindus account for 80 per cent of the country's billion-plus population, while Muslims account for about 13 per cent

— The most recent Indian census, in 2001, states that 2.3 per cent of the population is Christian, but converts often claim to be Hindus to retain government privileges reserved for Hinduism's lower castes

— Most Indian Christians are Dalits, at the bottom of the caste system, who were once known as untouchables

— Australian missionary Graham Staines and his two children were burnt to death when their car was set alight by a Hindu mob who went on the rampage in Orissa state in 1999

— Over Christmas last year, 55 churches and 600 houses were set alight in Orissa, as part of a vicious anti-Christian campaign

— 35 major incidents of violence against Christians were recorded in the state of Madhya Pradesh alone between January and August this year

— Last March a United Nations freedom-of-religion investigator gave warning that the scarcity of prosecutions and “political exploitation of communal tensions” put India at risk of more religious violence

Sources: www.cia.gov; Times Archive; Human Rights Watch

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Photos of Orissa Violence

PS: May Contain Images that may cause distress. View at your own discretion. Images have been taken from emails that are circulating on the Internet.


A Vehicle Burnt


An Orphanage that was attacked

Rajani who was burnt along the orphanage

Rajini Majhi (who was burnt at the orphanage at Bargarh)

Fr Edward

Father Edward Sequiera

Mayawati expresses concern over continuing violence in Orissa

BSP supremo Mayawati on Saturday appealed to Orissa government to take stringent measures to control the law and order in the state in the wake of communal violence there.

"The communal violence that has erupted in various districts of Orissa and especially in Kandhamal is an issue of concern. I hope the state government would take strict measures to ensure that people of all communities are able to live in communal harmony," the UP Chief Minister said while speaking to mediapersons in New Delhi.

Mayawati expressed concern over the fact that even after 12 days the violent incidents, the situation continues to remain tense in Orissa, and curfew is still imposed in many violence-affected districts of the state.

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CPI(M) demands strict action against saffron outfits

New Delhi, Sep 9 (PTI) Demanding strict action against VHP and Bajrang Dal for their alleged involvement in Orissa violence, the CPI(M) today asked the Central Government to list these saffron outfits as terror organisations.
In a letter to Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil, CPI(M) Politburo member Brinda Karat claimed that these outfits were indulging in "terrorist activities" and thus "seriously" undermining national security.
"The severest action be taken against the Bajrang Dal and VHP by applying the necessary procedures to check their terrorist activities," Karat said demanding "the outfits be put under watchlist of outfits indulging in terrorist activities." The CPI(M) leader claimed that the recent incidents in Orissa have highlighted the use of violence by these outfits against Christians, including use of weapons and inflammatory materials to burn houses and churches.
"In Bhubhaneswar, it was reported that the son of a BJP leader and his accomplice, associated with one of these organisations, were arrested when the bomb they were making exploded.
"Recently in Kanpur, two Bajrang Dal activists were killed while making bombs...In addition their leaders are making the most rabidly communal speeches," Karat said adding there were reports of attempts being made to spread violence in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan by these outfits.
In her letter, she also pointed out to the revelation by anti-terror squad of the Mumbai Police that these outfits have a "carefully prepared plan" to create communal disturbances by exploding bombs. PTI

Government is fueling violence in Orissa state - Congress

Statesman News Service
BHUBANESWAR, Sept. 9: The Congress expressed apprehensions over the communal violence in the state and questioned whether the BJD-BJP government was allowing this to polarise tribal votes in its favour.
"Does this government want the violence to continue till the next elections," asked AICC leader in charge of Orissa and Union minister Mr Ajay Maken here today.
A government which does not agree to suggestions of an all-party meeting, peace processions in Kandhamal and demand for a CBI probe into the killing of Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati can only be construed as one which is allowing communal tension to prevail, remarked Congress leaders at a Press conference here.
Iterating the demand for a CBI probe, Mr Maken said: "Why is the CM shying away from ordering such a probe... the killing of Laxmanananda Saraswati on 23 August was a deep-rooted conspiracy and the fallout in terms of violent attacks in Kandhamal warrants a CBI probe".
He repeated the charge that the BJD-BJP government was out to repeat the Gujarat experiment in Orissa. "What else could be the reason to allow someone like Mr Pravin Togadia to tour Kandhamal and prevent Union minister of state for home Mr Sriprakash Jaiswal and others from entering the district," he charged.
Reacting sharply to Mr Maken’s allegation, BJD leader and tourism minister Mr DP Mishra today said: "It is highly irresponsible on the part of Mr Maken to make such statements at a time when peace and normalcy has been restored in Kandhamal."
"Orissa is not Gujarat and Kandhamal is not Godhra," said Mr Mishra while adding that the law and order situation in Hyderabad or for that matter Delhi is worse than that of Orissa.
“The Congress should look at its own performance in Delhi and Andhra Pradesh or for that matter its handling of the Jammu and Kashmir violence before preaching here,” he said.

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Orissa refuses to hand over Kandhamal riot case to CBI

Bhubaneswar, Sept 9 (PTI) Rejecting the opposition demand for a CBI probe into communal violence in Kandhamal, Orissa government today alleged it was being politically used by ruling Congress at the Centre.
"There is no point in handing over the Kandhamal incident to CBI because it was being politically used by Congress," Orissa's Excise Minister Debi Prasad Mishra told reporters here.
"CBI had lost its credibility by giving clean chit to Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi, an accused in the Bofors case," he charged.
Claiming Orissa police was effectively investigating into the killing of VHP leader Laxmananda Saraswati and communal violence thereafter, the minister alleged CBI adopted "soft" attitude towards Quattrocchi after the UPA government came to power in 2004.
Denouncing union minister Ajay Maken's claim that Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik lacks control over administration in checking communal riots in Kandhamal, the minister asked the Congress not to indulge in blame game as it could expose the party's role in anti-Sikh riots in the aftermath of Indira Gandhi's assassination in 1984.
"Congress should remember that people living in glass chambers should not throw stones at others," he said.
Quoting media reports, Mishra said "one bride is bunrt in every 12 hours and a woman is raped every 30 minutes in Delhi." "Delhi and Hyderabad, both Congress ruled cities, have reported high rate of crimes against women," he alleged.


Twenty Christians Houses Burnt in Khajuripada, Kandhamal, Orissa

More news of ransacking and destruction of Christian’s houses are flowing-in at regular interval from across the state of Orissa.
Hindu extremists again struck at night of September 8, 2008 targeting Khajuripada, Kandhamal and completely burnt twenty houses of the believers belonging to Orissa Follow-Up Ministry headed by Rev. Dr. D.B. Hrudaya.
Rev. Hrudaya briefed Evangelical Fellowship of India about the incident. He also looked very disturbed and concerned about the whereabouts of the believers. Till the writing of the report there is no information about these 20 Christian families.
Further, there are reports from the media and the eye witnesses that the drinking water sources of relief camps are being poisoned by the saffron brigade and frequent attacks on the Christians taking refuge in these camps.
EFI requests your prayers for the Orissa Christians who, because of Government inaction against the miscreants, continue to suffer.

Dr. Manmohan Singh
Prime Minister of India

Room No. 152,
South Block,
New Delhi, 110001

(O) Tel : +91-11-23012312
(O) Fax: +91-11-23016857

Smt. Pratibha Patil
Hon'ble President of India
Rashtrapati Bhavan
New Delhi, 110001

(O) Tel: +91-11-23017290
(O) Fax: +91-11-23017824

Email: presidentofindia@rb.nic.in

Shri Navin Patnaik
Chief Minister of Orissa

Naveen Nivas,
Aerodrome Road,
Pin-751001 (Orissa)
(O) Tel: +91-0674-2531100, 2535100, 2531500
(O) Fax: +91-0674-2400100 
(R) Tel: +91-0674-2590299, 2591099,2590844,2591100,2590833


Shri Gopal Chandra Nanda,IPS,
Director General & Inspector General  of Police

Cuttack, Orissa
(O) Tel: +91-0671-2304451, 2306501
(O) Fax: +91-0671-2304033

Rev. Dr. Richard Howell
General Secretary
Evangelical Fellowship of India
New Delhi, India

Kandhamal Christians under ‘threat’ to convert

The anti-Christian flame in Kandhamal may have become dimmer for a while, but it is far from blown out. Fuelling it is the issue of conversion, which has become a determinant of people’s lives in this part of the country.

Several Christians in 11 blocks of the tribal districts are said to have been “forcibly converted” as Hindus in the past 17 days of mayhem; the rest say they are facing a choice between life and faith.

“The radicals have told us that we can live here only as Hindus. They are giving deadlines to people to convert or be prepared to face the worst. They asked my family to fall in line by 8 pm on September 3. When we did not agree to convert, they razed our properties,” Jitender Digal, a refugee at Bijaya High School camp in Raikia block, told The Tribune.

In Kandhamal, minorities furnish proof of how “force and fear” is being used to deter people from their faith. Lalu Naik of Balliguda block shows this correspondent a letter whose text, he says, the radicals have framed for the Christians to follow. Signed by Lalu’s father Babulal Naik and 10 members of his family, the letter reads: “Shrijukta Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) mahodaya (Respected VHP official), I was a Christian until now, but I voluntarily want to embrace Hinduism.”

The sample, claim refugees, is meant to facilitate Christians’ conversion to Hindu religion. Such letters have been floating around for a fortnight, with covert but stern messages to Christians to convert. The first targets in this “war” of conversion are pastors, now hiding in the relief camps by thousands. Three of them - Samuel Naik, Akhar Digal and Dibya Digal from Raikia and Udaygiri blocks - have already lost their lives in the recent violence. In each case, the killers first asked the victims if they were ready to become Hindus, say relatives.

Samuel Naik’s son Ramesh, who witnessed killings of his father and grandmother, recounts, “They gave three warnings to my father. When he refused to abandon his faith, they slaughtered him. My grandmother met the same fate.” Ramesh is now hiding at the G Udaygiri camp, while his mother Upojini Naik is at the Raikia relief camp, where over 200 pastors are seeking refuge.

Among them are Subodh Naik, Bijay Pradhan, Subodh Digal and Ulkeshan Naik, who claim being on the radicals’ hit list. “They want us to join them and prove our loyalty by attacking churches and killing Christians. They have threatened to eliminate us if we don’t listen to them.” Many pastors are missing or feared dead.

As for forcible conversions, they are mostly reported to be happening in G Udaygiri, Raikia, Tikabali, Chakapad and Balliguda blocks, with Christians now demanding a separate district. Ashok Behera, a camper at Tikabali, says, “We want a district with a Christian collector, a Christian SP and a Christian block development officer. We have lost faith in the system as close to 2,000 Christians have been converted.”

VHP leaders for their part remain adamant as ever, claiming they will “do everything possible to protect the Hindu faith in Orissa.” Kabi Chandra Nath, who assumed charge of the Jalaspeta ashram after Laxmananda Saraswati’s death, goes to the extent of defending the radical stand, saying, “We are not converting anyone. We are simply bringing misguided followers back to the fold.” Never mind the cost.

Click here for source

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Orissa bans all yatras

Special Correspondent

BHUBANESWAR: The Orissa government on Monday imposed a ban on all yatras in connection with the killing of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Swami Lakshmanananda.

This follows the interim orders of the Supreme Court to maintain peace and protect Christians in the State.

The VHP, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, Bajrang Dal and their allies had announced that they would take out yatras in every village to spread the ‘message’ of the Swami killed in Kandhamal district on August 23.

Collectors of all 30 districts were asked to ensure no rallies and processions were taken, Home Secretary Tarun Kanti Mishra told journalists here. Mr. Mishra claimed normality was fast returning to Kandhamal district, which witnessed widespread attacks on Christians following the killing of the Swami.

According to Mr. Mishra, the State government would inform the Supreme Court on September 11 about the measures taken to restore peace in Kandhamal.

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Sunday, September 07, 2008

Orissa violence similar to Gujarat riots: Agnivesh

Press Trust of India

Saturday, September 06, 2008, (New Delhi)

With the violence against Christians in Orissa creating widespread condemnation across the country, a prominent religious leader said on Friday that the attacks on the minority community were "very similar" to the 2002 Gujarat riots.
"The killing of Swami Laxmanananda is being used as an excuse to target minorities in Orissa like the Godhra incident was used in Gujarat to fan the communal cauldron," Swami Agnivesh, President, World Council of Arya Samaj, told reporters in New Delhi.
The killing should be properly investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) so that the real culprits are apprehended, he added.
"The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and the Bajrag Dal are getting tacit support from the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) which is part of the ruling coalition in the state to instigate violence in the state," he alleged.
A fact-finding team of Swami Agnivesh, Shabnam Hashmi and Vimal Thorat recently visited the state to enquire about recent violence in Kandhamal.
"To some extend, the repeat 2002 Gujarat riots are taking place in Orissa. With the same preparedness and planning," claimed social activist Shabnam Hashmi.
"We heard reports there that the attackers had lists with them while targeting the victims," she alleged.
"It is very surprising that while we were not allowed to go into area, but were asked to wait till September fourth. VHP leader Pravin Togadia was allowed into the region with full police protection," Agnivesh said.
"What is more strange is that the Union Home Minister for State Sri Prakash Jaiswal was turned back as state refused to give him any security to the troubled area," he added.


Saturday, September 06, 2008

Nuns beaten up in Chhattisgarh

Two nuns traveling with four orphan kids by Chattisgarh express from Raipur to Indore were pulled out at Durg Railway Station and brutally beaten up by Bajrang Dal/  VHP activists on 5th September 08 at 6 pm.

The nuns are serious and admitted in Durg Government Hospital. According to reports the police handed over the nuns to VHP goons before taking them to the Hospital.

The local pastor's fellowship then met Speaker of Legislative Assembly Mr Prem Prakash Pandey assured assured legal action against the culprits

Friday, September 05, 2008

Pray for slain VHP leader in Orissa: Missionaries of Charity

Kolkata, September 5: Superior-General of Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity, Sister Nirmala said that religion should not be used to divide people.

"Essence of all religion is love -- love of God and love of one another. Violence on the ground of religion is an abuse of religion," she said decrying the communal riots in Orissa.

Quoting Mother Teresa, on her death anniversary this Friday, Nirmala said "Religion is meant to be a work of love. It is not meant to destroy peace and unity. Works of love are works of peace. Let us use religion to become one heart full of love in the Heart of God."

Sister Nirmala also called for prayers for slain VHP leader Swami Lakshmananda Saraswati, his four associates and those who died in the violence in Orissa's Kandhamal district.

"Let us put down the weapon of hatred and violence and put on the armour of love. Let us forgive one another and ask forgiveness from one another for the wrong we have done to each other and reach out in love to each other."

"We are brothers and sisters. No matter, what our religion, race, culture or language is. Nothing should separate us," she observed.

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Yatra won’t be permitted: Orissa

Yatra won’t be permitted: Orissa

J. Venkatesan

New Delhi: The Orissa government on Thursday assured the Supreme Court that it would not allow VHP leader Praveen Togadia’s yatra on Friday or any other day carrying the ashes of Swami Lakshmanananda Saraswati, who was killed in his ashram in Kandhamal district on August 23.

A Bench consisting of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan and Justices P. Sathasivam and J.M. Panchal recorded the assurance and asked the government to maintain law and order and ensure that no untoward incident took place in the riot-hit district. The court asked the State to file a report and posted the matter for September 11.

Earlier, Additional Solicitor-General Gopal Subramaniam, appearing for the Centre, and senior counsel Colin Gonsalves for the petitioner (Archbishop of Cuttack Raphael Cheenath) urged the court to stop the yatra as it would result in serious consequences.

Appearing for Orissa, senior counsel K.K. Venugopal said: “We have not given any permission for the yatra and we will prevent it. We will take all possible steps to stop the yatra [of Mr. Togadia] at the State border and will not allow any outsider to enter the State. We will be able to control the situation if the Centre deploys four additional battalions of paramilitary forces and we will ensure that no untoward incident takes place.” Prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Cr.PC ban were already clamped in the whole of Kandhamal district.

The Chief Justice told Mr. Venugopal: “Take steps to ensure that no one is allowed to inflame the situation. We can’t give any concrete direction. Our attempt is only to see that these sorts of yatras should not result in violence.”

The Bench was hearing the writ petition filed by the Archbishop seeking a CBI probe into the killings of Christians and damage caused to churches and other institutions in Kandhamal district.

The Additional Soliticor-General said Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil, who had toured the riot-hit areas and visited relief centres on Wednesday, assured the Orissa government of all possible help to restore normality. Adequate number of CRPF personnel had been deployed.

Mr. Subramaniam said the situation was very tense and the State should not permit any activity that would escalate tension.

Mr. Gonsalves urged the court to stop Mr. Togadia’s yatra, which, if allowed, would result in inflammatory speeches. Provocative messages during the yatra would have serious consequences.

He cited the demolition of the Babri Masjid at Ayodhya in 1992 despite an assurance given by the then Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, and said assurances to maintain law and order during the yatra should not be accepted.

In response to Wednesday’s direction, the Orissa government filed an affidavit giving details of deployment of paramilitary forces and the State police to protect lives and property.

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Wednesday, September 03, 2008

SC directs Orissa to submit report on Kandhamal by Thursday

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed the Orissa government to place by tomorrow its report relating to steps taken to protect lives of people belonging to the Christian community in riot-hit Kandhamal district.
The apex court also asked the state government to put on affidavit whether any permission was granted to VHP leader Praveen Togadia for his proposed Yatra carrying the ash of slain leader Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati.
A Bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan posted the matter for further hearing for tomorrow.
In Orissa, life is limping back to normalcy where communal strife has claimed 16 lives, the police said on Wednesday.
Inspector General of Police Pradeep Kapur said that the worst-hit Kandhamal and Koraput districts had reported no breach of law and order on Tuesday and early Wednesday.
"But the possibility of fresh violence can never be ruled out. We are here to intervene promptly if such things happen," Kapur, camping in Kandhamal, said.
The violence erupted after Swami Lakshmanananda Saraswati of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and four others were killed by unidentified gunmen at his ashram in Kandhamal Aug 23.
The police said that Maoists were responsible for the killing. But blaming Christians for the murders, thousands of Hindus attacked Christian homes and churches. The violence left at least 16 people dead.
The government deployed police and paramilitary forces in 12 of Orissa's 30 districts. Curfew was imposed in Kandhamal and in a part of Koraput.


SC directs Orissa to submit report on Kandhamal by tomorrow

The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed the Orissa government to place by Thursday its report relating to steps taken to protect lives of people belonging to the Christian community in riot-hit Kandhamal district.

The apex court also asked the state government to put on affidavit whether any permission was granted to VHP leader Praveen Togadia for his proposed Yatra carrying the ash of slain leader Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati.

A Bench headed by Chief Justice KG Balakrishnan posted the matter for further hearing for tomorrow.

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Indian priest describes mob ordeal 'like being tortured for Christ

By Anto Akkara
Catholic News Service

BANGALORE, India (CNS) -- Father Thomas Chellen, undergoing treatment at a Catholic hospital in Bhubaneswar, India, said he was grateful to be alive after a Hindu mob nearly set him on fire.
"They had poured kerosene on my head, and one held a matchbox in his hands to light the fire. But thanks to divine providence, in the end, they did not do that. Otherwise, I would not have been there to tell this horror," the 55-year-old priest, director of the pastoral center at Konjamendi in the Indian state of Orissa, told Catholic News Service in a telephone interview from his hospital bed Aug. 28.
Following the Aug. 23 murder of a Hindu leader, Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati, by Maoist extremists, Father Chellen said Hindu mobs started attacking Christian centers in Kandhamal, the district where the slain leader was based.
When a Hindu mob of 500 people broke into the pastoral center around noon Aug. 24, Father Chellen said he fled through the backyard with another priest and a nun.
"It was heartbreaking for us to watch from a distance the entire complex go up in smoke," said Father Chellen, who had supervised the construction of the center that opened in 2001 and could accommodate 200 people.
"They vandalized everything and set it on fire. It has been reduced to ashes," he added.
As the three watched from a distance, some other priests told them to flee.
"We fled to the jungles and came in the night to take shelter in the house of a Hindu friend and spent the night there," Father Chellen said, adding that the second priest left them to join other priests.
The following morning, he said, the Hindu family moved the priest and nun to an adjacent vacant house and locked it to give the impression that no one was inside.
However, the Hindu mobs overheard the priest speaking on his cell phone, broke into the room and dragged him and the nun outside.
"They began our crucifixion parade," said Father Chellen. The gang of about 50 armed Hindus "beat us up and led us like culprits along the road" to the burned pastoral center.
"There they tore my shirt and started pulling off the clothes of the nun. When I protested, they beat me hard with iron rods. Later, they took the sister inside (and) raped her while they went on kicking and teasing me, forcing (me) to say vulgar words," said the priest who has cuts, bruises and swollen tissue all over his body and stitches on his face.
"Later both of us, half-naked, were taken to the street, and they ordered me to have sex with the nun in public, saying nuns and priests do it. As I refused, they went on beating me and dragged us to the nearby government office. Sadly, a dozen policemen were watching all this," he said.
Angry at his plea to the police for help, the mob beat the bleeding priest again.
Later, a government official and members of the mob took the priest and the nun to the police station, where Father Chellen said he was kicked in the face.
"The four-hour ordeal ended when a senior police officer arrived in the evening," said Father Chellen.
The priest said one of the most hurtful things about the incident was that some local Hindus whom he knew were watching the events and ignored his requests for help.
Later, the priest and nun were taken to a nearby police camp, he said.
"They were very kind to us, gave us clothes and slippers," said Father Chellen.
On Aug. 26, the priest and the nun were taken for medical tests. That afternoon they were sent by bus to Bhubaneswar.
Father Chellen said he was admitted to the hospital Aug. 27, while the traumatized nun was taken to a convent. He said the plans called for him to be moved to Mumbai for treatment.
Asked about the how the nun coped with the trauma, Father Chellen said: "We had no option and were simply following their commands. We resisted as much as we could. This is like being tortured for Christ."

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