top
Persecution

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

The federal government and judiciary must act immediately to check the worrying trend, says Christian rights group An interdenominational rights group in India’s national capital has demanded the federal government and judiciary intervene immediately to check the rapid rise in incidents of violence, coercion and false arrests of Christians. The New Delhi-based United Christian Forum (UCF) has cited 207 cases of persecution in 2022 to back the demand. It documented 505 cases in 2021. “This data flies in the face of statements by government functionaries and leaders of the ruling party at the center and in the states that there is no persecution and that there are only a few stray incidents by fringe elements,” said UCF national president Michael Williams in a press statement on June 13. William said it was ironic that the culprits, many of whom even film the acts of vandalism and physical violence on unarmed women and men, dare to defy the law with such impunity while the pastors and faithful gathered for prayers are arrested on false charges of religious conversion. “In all such cases, the police are either mute spectators or active participants. Despite our appeals to senior officials and administrators, the police have failed to follow protocol,

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken had highlighted 'rising attacks on people and places of worship' The Indian government has denied “ignoring or even supporting” rising attacks on minorities and their places of worship as alleged in the US State Department’s report on international religious freedom. Speaking after releasing the report on June 2, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said: “In India, the world’s largest democracy and home to a great diversity of faiths, we have seen rising attacks on people and places of worship.” He did not specify but the 2,000-page report indicated the reference was to attacks on Christian and Muslims and their places of worship. Blinken’s comment was further reinforced by US Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom Rashad Hussain. “And as the secretary stated, in India some officials are ignoring or even supporting rising attacks on people and places of worship,” he said. Blinken had in April said that the US was monitoring the “rise in human rights abuses by some government, police and prison officials” in India. Arindam Bagchi, the official spokesperson of India's Ministry of External Affairs, said on June 3 that such assessments by senior US officials based on motivated inputs and biased views need to be

The hill shrine in Andhra Pradesh is being falsely claimed as a sacred spot for Hindus Attack on shrine upsets Christians in southern India Christians protest against vandals attacking the statues of Mother Mary, Infant Jesus and the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the Guntur Diocese in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh on May 15. (Photo supplied) Unidentified vandals destroyed statues of Mother Mary, Infant Jesus and the Sacred Heart of Jesus at a hill shrine in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh causing shock among the local Catholics. The incident happened on the intervening night of May 14 and 15. "We came to know about it through some Catholics who had been there early morning,” said Father Bala Subash Chandra Bose who is in charge of the shrine. The newly constructed shrine complex at Edlapadu in the Guntur district was being readied for an inauguration, Father Bose told UCA News on May 18. “Christians here are in a state of shock and disbelief,” the Guntur diocesan priest said. “We organized a protest march on May 15 evening to press for speedy investigations.” However, three days after no one had been arrested and the priest said a peace march had been planned on the

May 4, 2022 -Christians falsely charged with crimes related to an act of vandalism in central India five years ago spent five days in jail and are fighting the case anew after it mysteriously resurfaced, sources said. The 18 Christians, including a widow, in Chhattisgarh state’s Bhelwapal village, Sukma District, were jailed March 9-14 even though one of the traditional tribal animists who falsely accused them in 2017 has since become a Christian and has explained how they were framed. Tribal villagers who damaged a pastor’s house and church building in 2017 smashed a Hindu idol and told officers the pastor had done it in an effort to justify why they had vandalized his property, according to the church leader, Pastor Hidma Sodi. “A family that was hand-in-glove with the ones who brought the idol and broke it but blamed the Christians for the same has come to the Christian faith,” Pastor Sodi told Morning Star News. “They not only told us how this conspiracy was planned and executed to frame the Christians but are also willing to speak as witnesses before the court.” As the Christians had registered a complaint with police, the tribal animists then planned to assault the pastor and three

The arrests were made after a raid was carried out at a church in the Hariharganj area on the information provided by members of a Hindu organisation, it is learnt. Fatehpur, Uttar Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh news, Uttar Pradesh Police, Religious conversions, unlawful religious conversion, Indian Express, India news, current affairs, Indian Express News Service, Express News Service, Express News, Indian Express India News. All those arrested were later bailed out. The drive against bootleggers was also conducted on Friday night. (File) Twenty six persons were arrested on Friday for alleged illegal religious conversions in Uttar Pradesh’s Fatehpur district, police said. The arrests were made after a raid was carried out at a church in the Hariharganj area on the information provided by members of a Hindu organisation, it is learnt. Besides the anti-conversion law, the police also invoked charges of promoting enmity between two groups against the accused. “Those arrested, all men, were produced in a local court in Fatehpur. The court dropped anti-conversion charges since the complainant was not party to the alleged conversion as the case was filed by a Hindu organisation member. The court granted bail to nine persons while others were sent to jail,” said circle officer (city) Dinesh Chandra

NEW DELHI (Morning Star News) – Still recovering from injuries at the hands of a Hindu extremist-led mob that beat him unconscious in January, a pastor in central India faces death threats, landlords who refuse to rent to him and baseless charges of forcible conversion, sources said. “Kailash Dudwe was brutally assaulted to the extent of almost being killed, was stripped and paraded on the street with grievous injuries, was hospitalized for a fortnight, a warrant issued against him and sent to jail,” said Anar Singh Jamre, a Christian leader in Pastor Dudwe’s area of Dhar District, Madhya Pradesh. Hindu extremists led a mob of more than 20 people to attack Pastor Dudwe and six other Christians – his wife, a 16-year-old girl and four men – who had gathered to pray at his church site in Kukshi village on Jan. 14, he said. With his 1-year-old baby nearby, the assailants tried to hit his 5-year-old daughter with an iron bar, he said. “My wife caught the rod and stopped it from hitting our daughter,” Pastor Dudwe said. “I still get terrified at the thought of their brutality, that they showed no mercy towards my little girl.” The 16-year-old girl picked up his son

NEW DELHI (Morning Star News) – Six masked men in central India this month killed one of 22 Christians a Maoist group had warned to “leave the pastorship,” sources said. Pastor Yalam Shankar was slashed and shot to death the evening of March 17 outside his home in Angampalli village, Bijapur District, Chhattisgarh state in front of his wife and daughter-in-law, relatives said. They said he was in his early 50s. The assailants left a note on his body stating that they were Maoists who had killed him for being a “police informer,” but area Christian leaders and police said they doubted that was the motive. While Pastor Shankar was eating dinner on March 17, some men outside his house called out the name of his oldest son, the pastor’s daughter-in-law said. Pastor Shankar went out to speak with them, and his wife and daughter-in-law followed. As he stepped out telling them that his son was not at home, the six men with faces covered with cloths attacked him, said his daughter-in-law, whose name is withheld for security reasons. “As soon as my father-in-law stepped out of the house, they tied his hands at the back,” she said. “Then they hit his face and forced

A Christian pastor has alleged he was assaulted on February 25 by a mob in Delhi that accused him of being on a conversion mission. Four days after a complaint containing these allegations was filed at the Maidan Garhi police station in South Delhi, an FIR was registered on 3 March.  The pastor, 35-year-old Kelom Kalyan Tet, said that the incident occurred between 10.50 am and 12.30 pm. According to his complaint, he had gone to the Bhati Mines area to meet a friend. When he was leaving, some local residents accosted him and forced him to chant “Jai Sri Ram.”  “They asked me why I had come here,” Tet told Scroll.in. “I said I had come to meet Kaalu bhai [his friend] which is when another person, who they had called on the phone, reached the area.”  The confrontation then became violent. “They spoke to each other and accused me of religious conversion,” he said. “They started beating me up and took my phone, my bag which had my Bible, the papers of my bike and other important papers. They were taking photos and videos of the entire thing.”    Tied up and beaten  Tet said that some women objected to him being beaten and asked the men

Intense opposition to Christianity grew in an area of northern India in the past month as a Hindu mob invited news media to record them reviling a house church gathering, and another pastor and his family were driven from their home, sources said. Intending to stir public sentiment against Christians, members of the Hindu extremist Bajrang Dal in Jammu and Kashmir state’s Kathua District brought local news reporters to record them intruding into a house church worship service in the district’s Ward No. 4 colony on Jan. 5. “Suddenly, the mob forcefully entered our church member’s house where we gathered with my family to pray together,” pastor Pawan Kumar told Morning Star News. “They started abusing us in extremely foul language. Soon the media and cameramen started recording the exchange.” “But they did not pay heed to our requests – they said that we are brainwashing the minds of Hindus to attract them to Christianity,” he said. “I told them, ‘Nowhere is it written in the Bible that we should brainwash others to attract them to Christianity. You have totally misunderstood our faith. We are asked to love everyone irrespective of their religion, caste or sect.’” The home, located in a secured, upscale neighborhood, is

Where to find us

FIACONA

Federation of Indian American Christian Organizations Pray for a Persecuted Church
[contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"]

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWS UPDATES