Karnataka Leads in Persecution. MP & Orissa follow
Karnataka boys beaten and arrested for having converted to Christianity:
Bhasker Naik, 20 years, and Hemanth Naik, 22, from the village Mank (North Kanara district), worked for over a year in the town of Udupi, employed in a private company. About six months ago, the boys began to follow the sermons of Pastor Sadananda, of the Church of Christ Fellowship in Hirebettu, and converted to Christianity. On 7 September the two returned to their village, but some activists of the Bajrang Dal (ultra-nationalist Hindu youth wing), learned of their conversion, started beating them and insulting them, telling them to return to Hinduism. Faced with the refusal of Bhasker and Hemanth to deny Christ, Hindu activists reported them to Honnavar police for forced conversions. The inspector Venkatappa conducted a brief investigation, and arrested them. The two Christians are still in prison.
Karnataka attacks on Belgaum and Hassan Pentecostal ministers for converting:
The incidents occurred iIn the Hassan district on 16-9-11.where Pastor Daniel Raghu (32) is in charge of a House Church called the New India Church of God at Arakalgud in Hassan District in Karnataka. He lives with his old father Sri. Lingaiah, and his wife Smt. Vimala (28), and two small children, a son (7) and a daughter (5). He has a membership of about 50 believers in his church, and he has been serving the Lord during the last 8 years. At about 1.30 in the afternoon, he visited a believerís house at a village called Jamanahally, about 35 Kms from Sakleshpur, for a prayer meeting. Just as the prayer began, about 20 Hindu Sangh Parivarists surrounded the house and began shouting at the believers and the pastor that they were trying to forcibly convert people to Christianity. Then they sent for the police and got Pastor Daniel arrested and took him to the Sakleshpur police station. After detaining him in the police station for a few hours and conducting some sort of an inquiry, they charge-sheeted him under section IPC 153-A, and sometime late in the evening produced him before the magistrate who sent him to the Sakleshpur Sub Jail.
The same day, in the Belgaum district, Pastor Santhosh V. Naganoor and his wife Smt. Shantha S. Naganoor look after the spiritual needs of a group of about 25 believers in their House Church called House of Praise Church at a village called Ugarkhod in Athani Taluk in Belgaum District of Karnataka. They fixed a Baptism Service for two sisters, Muthavva and Rani in a canal, about 15 Kms from Athani. Just as they were about to start the Baptism Service, about 40 Sangh Parivarists pounced upon them and stopped the Baptism Service, and caught hold of Pastor Santhosh, and hurled abuse at him alleging that he was fraudulently and forcibly converting the Hindus to Christianity. They then sent for the police and got the pastor and 6 other believers, including Mrs. Shantha Naganoor, Muthavva, Rani, a guest speaker, one Pastor P.C. Joseph and a couple of other believers arrested and took them to Kagwad police station.
Karnataka Chickmagnlur Church building attacked & Pastorís two-wheeler burnt:
Pastor C.S. Varghese (40) is in charge of Immanuel Church in Mallikoppa Village in N.R. Pura taluk of Chickmagalur District in Karnataka. Along with his wife Smt. Sheena Varghese (35), he has been carrying on with his ministry work during the last 8 years. They are living in a small rented house quite close to their church and they have a total membership of about 35 believers. On Sunday 18-09-2011, sometime at midnight, about a dozen anti-Christian elements, attacked the church, broke its windows and doors and then set fire to the pastorís two-wheeler parked outside church. The pastor, incidentally, was away with his family and his house too was locked. Quite close to the church there is a small orphanage and the children and their care-takers came out hearing the noise and disturbance near the church. When they saw what was happening, they raised an alarm and woke up the villagers who came and put out the fire. In the meantime the vandals disappeared from the scene.
Madhya Pradesh Pentecostal pastors and 11 Hindus who wanted baptism arrested:
Insulted, beaten and charged with false accusations of forced conversions of five Hindu activists by the RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh). This is what happened in Madhya Pradesh to four Pentecostal pastors, and the wife of one of the11 faithful. After a night in jail, they were released on bail. Pastors Ramesh, Balu and Ashok were driving to a prayer meeting attended by 20 other people. Of these, 11 were to have received the baptism ritual according to Pentecostal ritual. Suddenly, the RSS activists armed with sticks broke into the house, along with three local police officers. The pastors tried to explain what was happening, but the activists began to attack them accusing them of practicing forced conversions. After arresting the men and Sumantra, the wife of the rev. Ramesh, the police questioned the 11 baptized. Along with the Hindu group, the police tried to coerce the faithful to file false charges against Pastor Ramesh on charges of forced conversions. The group refused, saying they wanted to be baptized as believers in Christ.
Will Kandhamal Churches not be demolished ?
The Phulbhani district administration has assured the Christians in Orissaís Kandhamal district that orders to demolish churches or stop reconstruction of damaged church buildings will not be enforced. The District Collector of Kandhamal, Rajesh Prabhakar Patil told a delegation of Christian leaders that he would overrule the orders issued by junior officials to prevent church construction. Kandhamal district officials had first issued the notice on August 12, in which they said the churches had been illegally built on government land in Nandagiri and Mondasora villages. Displaced residents who had settled in the villages were given 30 days to vacate the land or face eviction, the notice stated.
The eviction notice came ahead of third anniversary of religious strife that tore through the state in 2008, killing more than 100 and displacing an estimated 50,000 residents, besides loss to property and possessions.
- GCIC reports