Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Christian man accused of converting Hindus in Alirajpur, farm attacked

Members of the Hindu Jagaran Manch (HJM) allegedly attacked the farm of a Christian man in Alirajpur district on Sunday and accused him of converting Hindus to Christianity.

The activists disrupted a prayer meeting being held at the farm and abused and heckled the Christian man, identified only as Emmanuel. No one was injured in the incident.

The farm is located at Jobat, around two kilometres from Alirajpur city. Alirajpur is around 180 km west of Indore.

According to residents of Jobat, a large number of tribal people gather at Emmanuel’s home every Sunday for a prayer meeting and for getting massage oil for joint pains. Most of those who come to Emmanuel's house are Hindu tribal people.

The HJM activists alleged that Emmanuel was converting Hindus in the name of serving the poor. The activists filed an application at Jobat police station, demanding an inquiry.
Akhilesh Jha, the superintendent of police of Alirajpur, said he was aware of the incident and that the matter was being investigated.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently broke his silence on the growing intolerance of Hindu groups linked to the Sangh Parivar, saying his government would uphold freedom of faith and crack down on elements who incite sectarian tensions.

The incident in Alirajpur occurred even as Christian clerics announced in Bhopal that the community will hold special prayers for three days from March 4 at 100 places across the country for an end to "attacks" on churches and the "hate campaign" against the minority.

"We are going to pray in churches for three days from March 4 to 6," said FJ Valsalen, pastor of Jabalpur-based English Methodist Church. In Madhya Pradesh, the prayers will be held at Indore, Jabalpur, Ujjain, Damoh, Gwalior and Bhopal.

"We are passing through a turbulent time...Our churches are being attacked and false cases are being slapped on our ministers and a smear campaign to defame us is being run. Forcible campaign ‘ghar wapsi’ (conversion to Hinduism by right wing groups) is underway to torment us," a cleric alleged.

The Rashtriya Isai Mahasabha (RIM) also handed over a memorandum to external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and demanded an end to attacks on Christians.

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