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Persecution

Hindu nationalists hail the murderers of Christians such as the killer of Australian missionary Graham Staines and his sons The Christian community in India remembers Jan. 22, 1999, as the day Australian missionary Graham Stuart Staines, who worked with leprosy patients in Odisha, and his young sons Timothy and Philip, were burned alive. It was on that day that the Western world really came face to face with the violence being meted out to the minuscule religious minority by the Hindutva extremist groups collectively known as the Sangh Parivar. The trio was sleeping in their jeep in a clearing in the Manourharpur-Baripada forest when they were surrounded by a mob led by Dara Singh, a local chief of the militant Bajrang Dal, who had gained a reputation as the scourge of cattle traders driving their animals through forest roads in the state on the east coast of India. Dara Singh had earlier slain a man called Rahman, a Muslim cattle trader. The Staines family massacre remained international news, both in the West and especially in his home country, Australia, for a long time. The triple deaths were horrendous. The father and sons had been set on fire as they slept. As the flames

The Union government had told the Supreme Court that the allegations in a petition calling for a probe into attacks against Christians were based on 'falsehoods' and 'self-serving reports.' New Delhi: Last week, the Union government told the Supreme Court that a public interest litigation urging action against attacks on Christian was based on “self-serving reports”. Data gathered by a non-governmental organisation based on distress calls it received on a helpline number, however, records over 300 incidents of attacks – verbal, physical and with help of law enforcement – on Christians until July this year. On August 28, three people were arrested from a small village of Harchandpur in Uttar Pradesh’s Rae Bareilly over allegations that they had attempted to forcibly converted people. On the day, the three – Ramvati, Dashrath and Raghuveer – say that activists affiliated to Hindutva organisations thronged their church, ostensibly in protest against ‘conversion attempts’ by the three. Hindutva groups had also complained to the police alleging the same. The FIR – accessed by The Wire – charges them under Section 295A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) of the Indian Penal Code and Sections 3 and

Patti, Aug 31, 2022: Some unidentified miscreants on August 31 vandalized a Marian statue kept in front of a church in Patti, an old town in the northern Indian state of Punjab. They also set ablaze the car of the parish priest. According to a message from Father Thomas Poochalil, the parish priest of Infant Jesus Catholic Church in Patti, the “shocking incident” took place around 12:45 am. While some kept the security guards under gun point two others attacked the statue and the car. According to a report in truescoopnews.com, four people were involved in the act. It also reported that Christians jammed the Patti-Khemkaran road in the morning. They also staged a sin-in demanding justice as well as the arrest of the accused. Police tried to convince the people to calm down. Father Poochalil said the miscreants raised slogans, ‘We are Khalistanis.” The church’s CCTV footage shows the miscreants taking the head of Mother Mary’s statue with them. The parish comes under the diocese of Jalandhar and Patti town near Tarn Taran is some 50 km south of Amritsar, the holy city of Sikhs. Father Poochalil said the parish has informed the police, who have started investigation into the incident. The priest sought prayers for the

Around 200 attacks on Christians were reported within the first five months of this year in India, but the country’s government claimed before the Supreme Court that persecution of Christians was based on “half-baked and self-serving facts and self-serving articles and reports…based upon mere conjecture.” “There appears to be some hidden oblique agenda in filing such deceptive petitions, creating unrest throughout the country and perhaps for getting assistance from outside the country to meddle with internal affairs of our nation,” India’s federal interior ministry said in its response to a petition filed by Christian groups demanding an investigation into rising attacks on Christians and requesting police protection for places of worship, the Hindustan Times reported. Submitting the federal government’s response, India’s Solicitor General, Tushar Mehta, told Justices Dhananjaya Y. Chandrachud and A.S. Bopanna that it was only a “preliminary note.” Senior Advocate Colin Gonsalves, who said there were about 500 attacks on Christians across the country in 2021 alone, is preparing a response to the claim of the government led by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The government claimed, “In some cases, incidents of purely criminal nature and arising out of personal issues, have been categorized as violence

Seeks dismissal of a petition for urgent intervention of Supreme Court to end attacks on Christians and their institutions India’s federal government has sought dismissal of a petition that sought to end the persecution of Christians, saying there could be a “hidden oblique agenda” behind it. In its affidavit submitted to the Supreme Court on Aug. 16, the government said there seemed to be an agenda behind filing “such deceptive petitions.” The government alleged that such petitions were meant to “create unrest throughout the country and perhaps for getting assistance from outside the country to meddle with internal affairs of our nation.” The Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Archbishop Peter Machado of Bangalore, the National Solidarity Forum and the Evangelical Fellowship of India, said that an average of 45 to 50 violent attacks against Christian institutions and priests were reported every month. A record 57 attacks were recorded in May, the petition said and sought urgent intervention from the top court. Solicitor-General Tushar Mehta, who appeared for the federal government, told the court that such “half-baked and self-serving facts and self-serving articles and reports culminating into a petition — based upon mere conjectures — clearly appear to be for an oblique purpose.” Describing the petition as

Four evangelists were arrested in Maharashtra , an Indian state on charges of trying to convert to Christianity. The incident, which took place on August 5, was reported from Saravali Talavpada village in Dahanu taluk of Palghar district. Clement de Beila, Mariam T Phillips, Pinky Sharma Kaur alias Paramjit and Parashuram Dharma Dingada, who came to visit a woman believer in their congregation, were surrounded by members of the local extremist Hindu organizations and surrounded their house and took them to the local police station alleging that they were trying conver this woman to Christianity. They were accused of trying to convert this tribal sister by tempting her. The local police have registered a case against them under Sections 153, 295, 448 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code, which include inciting enmity between different sects, housebreaking and other offences. It is noteworthy that this development comes after the pro-Hindut government came to power in Maharashtra State. According to Voice of Martyrs, the main persecutors of Christians in India are well-organized Hindu terrorist groups, local governments they influence, and nationalist Hindus. Their aim is to “purify” India into a completely Hindu state. They see the evangelicals as traitors to the Hindu motherland. Hindu organizations

The missionaries told the tribals that they will get relief from their pains if they convert to Christianity. The villagers in the Dahanu area of the Palghar district foiled an attempt of four Christian missionaries to convert the tribals to Christianity by luring them with money. The missionaries told the tribals that they will get relief from their pains if they convert to Christianity. The Dahanu police then arrested the four Christian missionaries on Friday, 5th August 2022. The incident took place in the Sarawli Talawpada village of the Dahanu taluka of the Palghar district on Friday afternoon when four Christian missionaries entered the house of an old tribal woman spotting her alone at her home. They lured her with money to convert to Christianity. The missionaries asked her to stop practicing her faith and accept Christianity so that she would get relief from her ailments. According to a report by Loksatta, they offered her money and tried to force her into religious conversion. As the local villagers and the members of Hindu organizations came to know that the missionaries have come to the village, they quickly gathered in large numbers and took those missionaries and the old woman to the local police

NEW DELHI (Morning Star News) – Nearly two months after police arrested a pastor in India from his grandmother’s home, tied him to a tree and beat him, threats from officers and others have kept him from filing a complaint on the brutality, sources said. Pastor Pravesh Kumar of Amamahua, Uttar Pradesh state was visiting a sick uncle at his grandmother’s house in nearby Bhais Khur village on April 22 when police arrested him after a Hindu neighbor videotaped them singing during a family devotional on the roof, he said. The neighbor had sent the video clip to police after recording it from the adjoining rooftop, Pastor Kumar said. Officers immediately arrived and questioned him about the purpose of the visit and about their singing. When he explained that they were singing hymns, police told him they were arresting him on suspicion of forcible conversion because hymns were part of converting people, he said. “They completely ignored the fact that the family we were visiting were all followers of Christ,” Pastor Kumar said. Officers took the 26-year-old pastor to Bijauli police outpost at about 8 p.m., tied him face forward to a tree and physically assaulted him as they reviled him in coarse language, he

In the wake of the May canonization, fundamentalist networks are continuing their campaign of online defamation, as they have with other revered Christians. Devotees of St. Devasahayam pray June 5 at the spot where the Indian saint is said to have knelt down and prayed before his execution, which has become a shrine. Devotees of St. Devasahayam pray June 5 at the spot where the Indian saint is said to have knelt down and prayed before his execution, which has become a shrine. When the Catholic Church conferred sainthood on popular Hindu convert lay martyr Devasahayam, it was unpalatable for Hindu fundamentalist networks that thrive on demonizing Christianity. With the mid-May canonization, they were upset that St. Devasahayam — son of a Hindu temple priest and trusted solider of a Hindu king — had led hundreds to Christ during the seven years he was Christian and many more after his martyrdom in 1752. As the local Church in the southern state of Tamil Nadu rejoiced over the long-awaited canonization, secular national dailies like Indian Express published laudatory features. But this flurry of news headlines over the canonization of the convert prompted a leading Hindu nationalist portal, Bharata Bharati (“Mother India”), to publish a defamatory article against

Hindu nationalists in Chhattisgarh want those converted to Christianity removed from beneficiary list Tribal Christians in Ambikapur Diocese protest against the campaign by Hindu nationalists to remove them as beneficiaries of government welfare schemes in Chhattisgarh, India, on June 12 Tribal people including Christians in the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh are up in arms about attempts by Hindu nationalist forces to rob them of reservation benefits. Reservations form a system of affirmative action in India that provides representation in education, employment and politics for historically disadvantaged groups such as tribal people, Dalits and backward castes. Tribal people in Chhattisgarh are alarmed by Janjati Suraksha Manch (JSM) or tribal protection forum, which is affiliated with the Hindu nationalist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), undertaking a concerted campaign to remove tribal Christians and Muslims from the list of reservation beneficiaries. Demands to delist Christians and Muslims have been raised for the past 15 years or so but Hindu nationalists started holding rallies in support of the move for the first time in May. “The demand and the public rallies in support of it are motivated by political gains,” Bishop Emmanuel Kerketta of Jashpur told UCA News on June 15. There is currently no religious bar to tribal people being

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