News (Page 47)

A Christian and his 20-year-old son have taken refuge at an undisclosed location since an attack on Sept. 2 in Chhattisgarh state left the father with permanent damage to his hearing, sources said. Jagra Kashyap, 45, and son Asharam Kashyap had to leave their families at home in Badrenga village, Bastar District, as they fear for their lives if they return, pastor Vishwanath Kawasi said. “Their families back home are also feeling unsafe, but if Kashyap and his son return there, they could be attacked any time again,” Pastor Kawasi told Morning Star News. Demanding that Kashyap and his son renounce Christianity and return to Hinduism, a mob of about 60 Hindu extremists stormed their home at 10:30 a.m. and struck the elder man’s ear until it bled while delivering severe blows to his son’s back, the pastor said. Doctors at the district government hospital said the impairment to his ear is permanent, and that he will need a hearing aid the rest of his life, according to an allied lawyer for legal advocacy group Alliance Defending Freedom India. Pastor Kawasi said more than 10 Christian families in the village have come under attack in the past month. “Only seven or eight members muster the courage to

A screengrab from the video where Father Stan Swamy explained why police wanted him in a conspiracy case.  Protests continue in several parts of India after Jesuit Father Stan Swamy, an 84-year social activist in Jharkhand state, was arrested on Oct. 8 on charges of having links with a banned Maoist terror group. In a video posted hours before his arrest, Father Swamy said that the federal agency combating terror activities — the National Investigation Agency (NIA) — had interrogated him for 15 hours during a span of five days."Now they want me to go to Mumbai, which I have said that I won't go," he said in the video, citing his advanced age and the pandemic as reasons for his preference to have further questioning through video conferencing.However, he was arrested and taken to Mumbai, the capital of Maharashtra state. A special NIA court in that city remanded him to judicial custody for 14 days on Oct. 9.His case is linked to the Bhima-Koregaon area in Maharashtra state, where a violent clash occurred on Jan. 1, 2018, in which one person was killed and several others injured. Following investigations, police alleged some nine activists, including Father Swamy, conspired to organize the violence and have links

A Christian group in the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh is mulling a protest after the state government prevented construction of a church because it says it was illegal. Arunachal Christian Forum (ACF) has asked the state government run by the pro-Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to quickly resolve the issue in Buddhist-majority Tawang town.  “The present government says that the church is illegal as it is on public land, referring to the Supreme Court order that bars construction of religious structures in public places, but that is not the case here,” Father Felix Anthony, spokesman for the Catholic Church in northeastern India, told UCA News. “People here who are for or against the construction of the church are not for disturbing the peace of the community that has been prevailing for years. People want the issues sorted out amicably. There is no question of disobeying the law written in the constitution.” Police in Tawang on the India-China border on Oct. 6 arrested Joseph Singhi, a pastor of Tawang Christian Revival Church, on charges of constructing a church without any land allotment. He was arrested after a complaint by the district Land Revenue and Survey officer but was released the same day. Police also detained and

India’s most populous state leads in terms of religious intolerance and ranks first for anti-Christian violence. Radical Hindu groups have stormed private homes, interrupted liturgical services, and called in the police after accusing pastors and faithful of "forced conversions". Mumbai (AsiaNews) – A number of Christians have recently been attacked, beaten and arrested after they were falsely accused of proselytising and engaging in forced conversions. Speaking to AsiaNews about the issue, Sajan K George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christian (GCIC), said that “In Uttar Pradesh intolerance towards the Christian faith is growing every day.” What is more, “right-wing groups are increasing their attacks on vulnerable Christian communities.” “On 6 October, in Mau district (Uttar Pradesh), two innocent Pentecostal pastors were released on bail after they were falsely accused of forced conversions.” Th case began “Two days earlier when some right-wing [Hindu nationalist] groups stormed into Rev Harilal's house, where he was leading a prayer service with Pastor Kalicharan. “Six members of the radical group, led by Chandan Singh, interrupted the service and began to take pictures and film the Christians present. “Then, as if on cue, police arrived to accuse the pastors of forced conversions and arrested them. The radicals followed them to the police

Ranchi: Archbishop Felix Toppo of Ranchi October 16 joined priests, nuns and lay people to form a 5-kilometer human chain to denounce the arrest of an octogenarian Jesuit priest for alleged Maoist links. Many of the more than 1,000 protestors, who lined up in the Jharkhand state capital of Ranchi lit candles, terming it a symbol of hope against the attempts to silence intellectuals and rights activists such as Father Stan Swamy. The 83-year-old priest was arrested October 8 from his residence near Ranchi by the National Investigation Agency, the federal body to counter terrorism. The priest was taken to Mumbai the following morning. He was presented before a court in the western Indian metropolitan city that remanded him to judicial custody until May 23. Nuns in the Ranchi human chain The priest, who suffers from various illnesses such as Parkinson, is currently admitted in a hospital inside the jai. The police allege that he had links with those involved with violence on January 1 2018, at Bhima Koregaon near Pune, western India. The human in Ranchi began at 4:30 pm from Albert Ekka Chowk in the city center and wound through Kantatoli Chowk, Sarjana Chowk and Dangratoli. The human chain was part of ongoing protests by various

In the night between 17 and 18 October, 40 tombstones, crosses and statues of Our Lady were destroyed in the city of Tirunelveli. Catholics have received the solidarity of the population and political parties, except from the BJP, the ruling Hindu nationalist party. Palayamkottai (AsiaNews) - At least 40 graves have been desecrated, tombstones broken, crosses and statues damaged at the Udayarpatti cemetery, in the city of Tirunelveli (Tamil Nadu). Here is the report of the bishop, Msgr. Antonysamy Savarimuthu, from the diocese of Palayamkottai. On the night of October 17th-18th between 10pm.4am, desecrated the cemetery of the Sacred Heart Church at Udayarpatti in Tirunelveli city, Tamil Nadu. The miscreants broke the compound wall, entered our cemetery, where we have around 100 graves, damaged 40 graves, broken and vandalised the crosses and statues of Mother Mary, broke the granites and marbles gravestones, cross and statues and desecrated and damaged 40 graves It was a meticulously planned and calculated act of desecration and vandalism, which has deeply wounded our religious sentiments.  The cemetery is a Holy place, and we were sad, grieved and shocked This act of desecration and vandalism of our cemetery, was noticed by a few parishioners on Sunday morning, who informed the Parish priest

Suspected Hindu extremists set fire to a church in India’s Andhra Pradesh state, burning it to the ground because local Christians refused to stop worshiping together.  On Sept. 8, neighbors of the Christian Miracle Church, located in Ponduru town, reported flames and smoke coming out of the church building, persecution watchdog International Christian Concern reports.  Pastor Prabhu Das, who has led Christian Miracle Church for nearly 38 years, and his son, Jeevan, arrived on the scene in time to witness flames engulf the church building. The pastor’s car was also destroyed. Following the arson attack, the pastor filed a formal complaint with police against the unknown assailants. His son told ICC that Hindu extremists had previously threatened the church and ordered the Christians to stop meeting together.  “We have encountered opposition from the Hindu religious extremists several times in the past,” Jeevan said. “The radicals have threatened us to stop the church activities in the town. They have warned us of the consequences if we failed to close down the church.” “I never expected this to happen,” Jeevan continued. “I suspect this is the work of those who threatened us and told us to close down the church.” Jeevan said the arson attack has “caused a lot

Yangon: Cardinal Charles Maung Bo, president of the Federation of Asian Bishop’s Conference (FABC), has called for the immediate release of Jesuit human rights activist Father Stan Swamy. Hailing the 83-year-old Indian Jesuit priest as the “Friend of the Indigenous People,’ the Myanmar cardinal made the appeal through a letter dated October 26. The FABC represents 29 countries in Asia. A special court on October 23 rejected the interim bail plea of Father Swamy, who was arrested 15 days earlier from Ranchi, capital of Jharkhand state in eastern India, and jailed in Mumbai, some 1,710 km west. He had filed the interim bail application on medical grounds, given his age, pre-existing conditions and the Covid-19 pandemic. “It is with great shock and agony, the FABC heard of the arrest of the 83-year-old Fr Stan Swamy and his incarceration. We are surprised at the charges brought against him. We stand in solidarity with Fr. Stan Swamy and all who support the rights of the indigenous people,” says Cardinal Bo, a friend of India. The cardinal noted that the media in India and abroad have expressed shock over the arrest of Fr Swamy, who for more than three decades lived among the most deprived indigenous people of eastern

A group of young Muslims, descrated and danced on the cross, an act causing widespread concern. According to Msgr. Pamplani, Church leaders fear possibility of ISIS supporters being groomed in Kerala. Tamarassery / Palai (AsiaNews) -: Mons Joseph Pamplani, auxiliary bishop of Tellichery archdiocese in Kerala and the Chairman of Media Commission of Syro Malabar Church has severely accused the gang of Muslim youth who recently desecrated the Cross in two different parts of Kerala.    Widespread protests were held in Kerala against the desecration of the cross by anti-social people at Valamthodu in Thamarassery diocese and in Poonjar in Palai diocese.   A group of young people, pretending to be tourists, photographed the cross in a derogatory way and posted the images on social media. Since it happened several times, the faithful warned the group several times and turned to the police. The state of southern India has always been peaceful and with harmony between Christian, Hindu and Islamic religions. But recent events, according to Msgr. Pamplani, forcing Church leaders to also think about the possibility of recruiting ISIS supporters in Kerala. Bishop Pamplani, in a press conference, commented that the young people who went up and danced on the Cross were dancing on the

RAIPUR: Social and civil rights groups have expressed serious concern over increasing incidents of violence against tribal Christians in Bastar in Chhattisgarh and urged the Bhupesh Baghel government to conduct an impartial investigation and to take preventive measures to protect peace and harmony in the villages of the tribal region. Social activist Medha Patkar, who led the fa .. Read more at:

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