Modi Gov (Page 5)

Read the story on New Delhi: Incidents of anti-Christian protests, ruckus, and misdemeanor perpetrated by rightwing Hindutva organizations were reported both on news outlets and across social media in the lead up to and on Christmas Day, across states. Uttar Pradesh 1. On Christmas eve, members reportedly belonging to the Rashtriya Bajrang Dal and other rightwing groups set an effigy of Santa Claus on fire in the middle of a street in Agra while shouting “Santa Claus Murdabad”. According to a report in India Today, this was a protest against “using the ruse of Santa Claus during Christmas”. The main instigator appears to be one Ajju Chauhan, who reportedly said, “Santa [Claus] does not come bearing any gifts, his only goal is to convert the Hindus to Christianity. It’s not going to work anymore. Any attempt at conversion will not be allowed to succeed. If this is not stopped, then there will be agitations at missionary schools.” In 2015, Ajju Chauhan, whose real name is Avnindra Pratap Singh, and who was then a senior Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader, made headlines for organising a ‘ghar wapsi’ (return home) programme to convert ‘1,500 Muslim families’ to Hinduism. He was later reportedly sacked from the VHP

A Catholic church was vandalized in the southern Indian state of Karnataka even as lawmakers were debating the enactment of a law to prevent religious conversions. “A statue of Saint Anthony was found broken in St. Joseph Church in Bangalore Archdiocese on Dec. 23 morning,” said J.A. Kantharaj, archdiocesan public relations officer. “We have no clue who could be behind the attack,” he told UCA News, adding that the parish priest had already lodged a complaint with police who visited the church. St. Joseph Church is more than 150 years old and it is suspected that Hindu vigilantes may have been behind the attack as part of a well-orchestrated strategy to corner the Christian minority across Karnataka. Indian news agency ANI said a first information report has been registered by the rural police station against unknown persons for vandalizing Saint Anthony’s statue in Chickaballapur district, about 65 kilometers from state capital Bengaluru, known globally as the information technology capital of India. Of late, the southern state ruled by the pro-Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has become one of the hotspots for anti-Christian violence, with Hindu groups accusing the minority community and its institutions of carrying out religious conversions. Karnataka has witnessed many churches and prayer houses

12/18/2021: The pro-Hindu government in Karnataka plans to ignore protests and go ahead with the introduction of an anti-conversion bill in the southern Indian state’s legislative assembly. Latest information indicates that the bill titled the “Karnataka Protection of Right to Freedom of Religion Bill 2021,” will be presented in the assembly on December 20. The bill proposes a 10-year jail term for forcible conversion of persons from Dalit and Tribal communities, minors and women, to another religion. “Why do we need any anti-conversion laws when there are enough safeguards enshrined in the constitution and the existing legal system in the country to punish the guilty?” asks a press statement from the Bangalore Archdiocese, signed by its Archbishop Peter Machado. Several protest meetings were held and the Karnataka Regional Bishops’ Council and ecumenical council met the chief minister asking him to withdraw the decision, but radical Hindu groups strongly campaign for the bill. Attacks on Christian groups, pastors and priests are also on the increase in Karnataka since the debate on the bill started. The archbishop’s statement says Christians are alarmed after several Church groups were attacked in the past two months. Archbishop Machado told the latest protest rally on December 6 that the anti-conversion bill will give

12/17/2021: Christian official hits back at RSS chief's claims and tells Hindu activists to end interference in other religions Indian Christians have been told in as many words to mind their own business and stop converting people from other religions to their faith. The message was conveyed at a pre-Christmas gathering in capital New Delhi on Dec. 16 by Indresh Kumar, a senior leader of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the mothership of pro-Hindu organizations including India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The gathering held at Nagaland House, a popular venue for Christmas gatherings, was billed by the RSS as an “outreach effort” with tribal people from the Christian-dominated northeastern state of Nagaland. Donate to UCA News with a small contribution of your choice It was attended by some 300 people including federal minister R.K. Singh, RSS and BJP leaders and foreign diplomats from the US, Russia, Syria and Korea. Kumar, who spoke in the native Hindi language, said the greatest message of Christmas was peace, brotherhood, love and tolerance. “Respect all, follow your own [religion], there is no need of violence, no need of conversion,” he added. Kumar said if one respected all religions, then there was no need for conversion. “If we follow this path,

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

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