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The repeated attacks hint at systematic targeting and official bias against the minority community Hindu activists in India are stepping up disruption of Sunday prayer services under the guise of exposing forced religious conversions. Two such incidents were reported on Nov. 28. In national capital Delhi, activists of Bajrang Dal (Brigade of Hindu deity Hanuman) vandalized a newly inaugurated church in the Dwarka area. Minakshi Singh, general secretary of Unity in Compassion, told UCA News: “The church was inaugurated on Tuesday and was holding its first Sunday service. It was started by Ankur Nirula Ministries based in Jalandhar.” Singh alleged the police were biased against the minority community. They merely detained one of the attackers for about an hour or so and let him go after questioning. News website The Quint quoted a police official saying: “We received information at 9.30am on Nov. 28 that a quarrel had broken out at Matiala Road and on inquiry it was found that a group of residents and local miscreants had vandalized the board that read ‘church’.” The official said the police have registered two reports of offense, one against those who vandalized the church and another against those present inside the church for violating the Delhi Disaster Management

Violence against Christian gatherings are becoming routine in a Madhya Pradesh district. Hindutva-inspired militants held a rally calling for a ban on Christian meetings. “At the start of the Advent season, we are concerned for the Christian community in Jhabua,” said Sayan K. George. Bhopal (AsiaNews) – In Jhabua, a district in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, Hindu extremists are again putting more pressure on Christians. On Monday afternoon, militants inspired by Hindutva, a Hindu-centred nationalist ideology, held a rally with hundreds of activists "denouncing" alleged conversion activities among tribal people in some of the district’s rural areas. The incident comes after nine people were seized during an organised prayer in the village of Manpur on 10 December last year. As usual Hindutva activists broke into a building where the religious service was underway and called the police. A case was filed against the Christians under the state’s toughened up anti-conversion law. Pictures of the incident show Christians, their hands tied, held under guard by a Hindu nationalist activist. After they were taken to prison, they were released on bail. Now the rally has further heightened tensions. Hindu extremists handed a memorandum over to the local police superintendent and the local magistrate. In their 13-point petition,

Catholic leaders have hailed Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement to repeal three controversial farm laws that forced farmers to stage one of the country’s longest public protests in which close to 700 farmers died. “It is a really a very welcome decision in the interests of farmers and the nation as a whole,” said Bishop Alex Vadakumthala, chairman of the office of labor of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI). Modi made his surprise announcement on Nov. 19 on the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak, founder of the Sikh religion. Many Punjabi farmers are Sikhs. The PM said the laws were enacted for the welfare of the farmers but added: “We haven’t been able to explain to our farmers. This is not a time to blame anyone.” Modi’s announcement came as farmers were planning to intensify their protest from Nov. 26 to mark the anniversary of their protest. Farmers from the northern state of Punjab launched the protest against the laws — the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, and Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act — last November The farmers have since protested in New Delhi even after police blocked

The child protection agency president inspected the Bishop Clemens Memorial Boarding hostel searching evidence of "conversions" by the nuns. Fr Joseph would like to see the same agency “take note of the safety and security of thousands of children living in the streets of Indian cities.” Sagar (AsiaNews) – A Catholic hostel for girls in Madhya Pradesh has been the subject of an inspection by India’s National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR). Seeking evidence of alleged conversions by the nuns who run the facility, the Commission did not hesitate from traumatising the girls with questions and searches in their rooms. The Bishop Clemens Memorial hostel, which was opened in 2014 by the Sisters of Jesus, is located in Intkheri, a village in located in the Diocese of Sagar. NCPCR president Priyank Kanoongo, who is originally from Madhya Pradesh, came to the facility Monday with a group of people and went through the hostel, which currently houses 19 students aged 14 to 17 enrolled in public schools in Raisen district. “They opened cupboards, checked private rooms as well as bags in search of evidence,” said Sister Jancy, a councillor with the Sisters of Jesus, speaking to AsiaNews. “The girls are traumatised. There is no conversion

Hindu activists have disrupted Sunday prayer services in two Indian states alleging forced religious conversions that were denied by Christians. The first incident was reported on Nov. 7 from the southern state of Karnataka, where members of the Sri Ram Sene (Ram’s army) barged into a Christian prayer hall in Maratha Colony in Belgavi (formerly Belgaum) and locked in the devotees. Police had to rush to open doors of the locked-up hall and asked those inside to go home. Sene members alleged that Pastor Lema Cherian was converting poor Hindus to Christianity by organizing prayer services. Pastor Cherian denied the allegation. “We have been organizing prayer services every Sunday and all are free to join,” he said. He said that the local police were informed about the Sunday meeting and nobody was forced to attend it. “We are free to practice any faith of our choice and it is our fundamental right. No one can infringe upon it,” the pastor added. But Assistant Commissioner of Police Ajjol Chandrappa told media that a Hindu man who attended the prayer service had filed a complaint alleging conversion. The police were verifying the facts and may register a case, he said. Sene leader Ravi Kumar Kotikar alleged that pastors from

11/08/2021- India. (FIACONA News Service) The Federation of Indian American Christian Organizations (FIACONA) has learned from witnesses that a group of 20 Hindu nationalists barged into Pastor Anjeet's house in the northern Indian state of Utter Pradesh on November 5th around 11 PM and started attacking his wife and children rods and whips accusing them of forcefully converting people to Christianity. The incident took place in Ambedkar Nagar about 350 Kilometers (270 Miles) east of New Delhi, near Shajahanpur in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh (UP). Victims were seriously injured. Friends and some neighbors rushed the family members to a local hospital. According to the sources, this is not the first time, Pastor Anjeet's family was attacked. The same Hindu nationalists have reportedly abused and assaulted the Pastor and his family in the past. But it was mostly threats and minor physical assaults but no serious injuries. The pastor has reported such assaults but no action was taken against the Hindu nationalist groups. Several hundred such cases of violence have been reported in the state of UP so far in 2021 alone. Out that over 80 cases have been documented. In many cases, the police have filed charges against

October 27, 2021 - Archbishop Cornelio's appeal comes as persecution spreads across the country amid political silence. A Catholic Church leader has sought the intervention of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to contain violence against minorities, especially Christians, amid reports of rising persecution. Archbishop Leo Cornelio of Bhopal, based in the capital of central India's Madhya Pradesh state, wrote a letter to Modi asking him “to take effective steps to contain rising violence against Christians.” Christians make up 2.3 percent of India’s 1.3 billion population, who are mostly Hindus. Modi’s pro-Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) supports the hardline idea of making India a nation of Hindu dominance, which Christian leaders say results in Hindu activists violently opposing religious minorities such as Christians and Muslims. The archbishop’s Oct. 26 letter came five days after civil rights groups released a fact-finding report on persecution that documented rising violence against Christians, especially from right-wing Hindu groups. Christians faced persecution in 21 of 28 Indian states, most of them ruled by Modi’s BJP party, the report said. Now even our prayer meetings are termed as religious conversion ceremonies and false cases are registered against the faithful “Very recently certain individuals and groups have stepped up a hate campaign against minority groups,

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