Thursday, January 12, 2012

Hindu Radicals Attack 20 Christians, Indian Official Tells Christians Not To Complain For Facing Persecution

The fact that officials in India are asking my brethren not to complain for facing persecution enrages me.

01/12/2012 India (AsiaNews)-Hindu radicals armed with sticks and iron bars attacked 20 Pentecostal Christians in a private home in Anekal, near Bangalore (Karnataka). The Hindutva nationalists accused the Christians of proselytizing and forced conversions. In the attack, Pastor Shanthakumar Srirangam, of the Agape Church, lost a finger of his left hand, while Vijay - a believer - was seriously injured in the leg.

Even a woman, Mrs. Yashodamma, was attacked, resulting in a head injury, and perhaps permanent damage to a nerve of the right hand. For Sajan K. George, President of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), "such a severe and unjustified aggression against innocent Christians is a serious violation of human rights and religious freedom. For the Christian minority of Karnataka, 2012 has begun in terror. " After the attack, Christians called the local police at Sarjapur. The police registered the case and accompanied the wounded to the state hospital, but have yet launch an investigation.

Since 2008, the Karnataka has been led by the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party), ultra-nationalist party that supports Hindu extremist groups and movements belonging to the wide umbrella of the Sangh Parivar. Among these, the RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh), the VHP (Vishwa Hindu Parishad) and Bajrang Dal, often responsible for the violence against Dalits and Christians.

"The ultra-nationalist Hindu - accuses Sajan George - now exceed any standards of decency. They beat and insult women, a very serious violation of the dignity and rights of women. But what is most shameful is that these attackers feel encouraged to unleash their brutality even within the confines of a private home. Is it a crime to practice ones religion in India? Is it a crime to pray in the safety of our homes, to the point of attracting physical and verbal abuse by extremists who enjoy the protection of the BJP? ".

Since the beginning of 2012, the Anekal episode is the second attack by radical Hindus against Christians.
On January1st, about 20 Bajrang Dal activists disrupted a prayer service of the Blessing Youth Mission Church in the district of Balgakot. They beat the pastor Siddu Seemanth Gunike and accused him of practicing forced conversions of Hindus. After the attack, the activists brought Rev. Gunike and some members to the local police station.

The Commission for Minorities in Karnataka seems to shrug off the attacks against the Christian community. In two cases of anti-Christian violence that occurred on Christmas Eve and were reported by the victims, a member of the Commission simply replied: "If you really knew the teachings of Jesus, Christians should not be complaining," perhaps referring to the words of Christ to "turn the other cheek(Source). "

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