Thursday, May 07, 2009

Persecution reported in three states of India

Two incidents of assault and one incident of vandalism were reported from three states on Wednesday.
According to the Evangelical Fellowship of India, about 30 extremists from a Hindu group attacked a Christian meeting, injuring 10 believers and a five-year-old girl in Mumbai.
The attackers reportedly from the Swami Narendra Maharaj Sansthan, forcefully entered the prayer meeting at Damodar Hall in Nallasopara (East), and beat up the pastor, children and women. There were over 200 Christians attending the meeting organised by ‘Vasai Taluka Christian Pastors Association’.
"After closing the doors and windows of the hall on all sides, the hardline Hindus forced Christians to chant “Jai Shri Ram” and started beating the believers when they refused to recite the Hindu devotional," reported an EFI correspondent.
"Pastor James Samuel received hospital treatment and had five stitches to his head while about 10 others including a five-year-old child were left with bruises."
The incident led to the arrest of five Hindu extremists who have been charged for rioting.
The evangelical body reported a similar case as 15 Hindu radicals on May 3 "attacked an afternoon prayer meeting, burned Bibles and Christian literatures in Bara Koni Area, Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh. "
The extremists burned Bibles, gospel tracts, broke up crockery and other household goods after which they proceeded to verbally abusing the Christians and threatening them with dire consequences if continued to gather for Christian meetings.
In another incident of vandalism, suspected religious fanatics, in Sidapuram Village in Warangal District of Andhra Pradesh, burned a church roof and furniture.
According to the All India Christian Council (aicc), unknown persons broke the church gate and attempted to burn the whole church building.
"After an hour, the fire was noticed and the alarm was raised," aicc said, adding the fire had destroyed the furniture, carpet and roof of the church. Property worth almost Rs 50,000 was lost in the fire.
An FIR is being registered in the local police station.