Federation of Indian American Christian Organizations FIACONA
 Federation of Indian American Christian Organizations  FIACONA
Date  News 2020
   
   

Jan 23

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contrary to claims being made by top BJP leaders in public rallies and media statements, the countrywide movement against the Citizenship Amendment Law and the National Register of Citizens is gathering strength with each passing week.
Less than two weeks ago, on January 10, a fact checking site monitored 261 CAA-related protests across 24 States of which 230 were against the law and only 31 were in favour. The latest data compiled by the same agency on January 23 shows that the total number of protests has risen to 374, of which 322 are anti-CAA-NRC and 52 are pro. Read more

Jan 23

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

17 incidents of violence against Christians reported within first 19 days of New Year Helpline records of United Christian Forum (UCF) reported 17 incidents of violence against Christians in the country within the first 19 days of the New Year 2020. UCF is a national organization that documents cases of violence against churches and Christians in India and upholds fundamental freedoms and promotes values of justice, equality, liberty and fraternity. The incidents recorded at UCF's helpline number showed nine states with Uttar Pradesh leading the list with six incidents of violence against Christian minorities. A. C. Michael, convener of the UCF, lamented that "Year 2020 has begun well for those who like to harass the Christian community." Read more

Jan 21

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The St Francis Assisi Catholic Church in Kengeri, Bengaluru (Bangalore) was vandalised last night. Reacting to the outrage, Archbishop Peter Machado of Bangalore said: “I am not only terribly shocked but also greatly grieved that desecration was done to the Eucharistic Lord in that church.” The prelate said that the parish priest, Fr Satish, of the Order of Capuchin Friars, informed him of the wreckage. Perhaps in an attempted theft, hooligans ransacked the altar, destroyed the tabernacle, and scattered the hosts all over the place. At present, little is known about the reasons behind the desecration. A complaint has been filed with the local police and an investigation is underway. According to early witness accounts, nothing was stolen, suggesting that vandalism was the goal; however, police have not ruled out anything. Read more

Jan 12

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A fact-finding committee of the Congress on the JNU violence on Sunday said the January 5 attack inside the university campus was "state-sponsored" and recommended Vice Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar be dismissed and criminal investigation initiated against him.
The Congress had appointed a four-member fact-finding committee to carry out a detailed inquiry into the violence at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). Sushmita Dev, member of the committee, said the committee recommended that Kumar should be dismissed immediately and all the appointments in faculty should be probed and independent inquiry should take place. Read More

Jan 12

 

 

 

 

 

 

Veteran poet N D Mahanor on January 9 opened All India Marathi Literature Festival amid tight security in view of threats from right-wing Hindu organizations. The groups had warned Mahanor, a Padma Shri and Sahitya Academy awardee—not to inaugurate the festival as a Christian priest, Father Francis D’Britto, presided over the festival. The priest is a Marathi writer. The literature festival was held January 10-12 in Osmanabad in Maharashtra, some 410 km southeast of Mumbai, the state capital. Read More

Jan 12

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thousands join multi-prayer program in Delhi against citizenship law
People of different faiths came together on January 12 to participate in a ”sarva dharma sambhava” – a multi-faith prayer ceremony – at Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh, where anti-citizenship law protesters have been demonstrating for almost a month now. The inter-faith ceremony had a traditional Hindu-style “hawan” and chants of Sikh “kirtan.” The participants read out the Preamble of the Indian Constitution and took an oath to preserve its “socialist, secular” values. Read More

Jan 2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Apostle of Hate: Historical records expose the lie that Nathuram Godse left the RSS, the parent organization of Modi's BJP

SHORTLY BEFORE HIS EXECUTION, in the early hours of 15 November 1949, Nathuram Vinayak Godse, the Hindu-supremacist fanatic who killed Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi on 30 January 1948, recited a prayer:
Namaste Sada Vatsale Matrubhume
Twaya Hindubhume Sukham Vardhitoham
Mahanmangale Punyabhume Twadarthe
Patatvesh Kayo Namaste, Namaste!
O affectionate motherland, I eternally bow to you
O land of Hindus, you have reared me in comfort
O sacred and holy land,
May this body of mine be dedicated to you and I bow before you again and again!
These four Sanskrit sentences constitute the first of the three stanzas of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s official prayer, which continues to be sung to this day at its shakhas—regular assemblies meant for physical and ideological training. Read More

   

Jan 10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Year 2020 may be a challenging year for Christians in India: Last year, there were several incidents of attack on house churches, Christian leaders and worship places in India, and following the re-election of BJP, Christians in the country see 2020 as a year of challenges to practice their faith freely. "Nobody should be persecuted because of their faith," said Tehmina Arora, a practicing Supreme Court lawyer and Director of ADF India. "In India, more and more Christians suffer from an increasing number of physical and verbal assaults. According to Arora, majority of the violence against Christians is planned and executed by the radical Hindu nationalists, frquently incited by the pro-Hindu government's nationalistic polices. Even though more than 300 cases of mob attacks against Christians of all denominations are registered, only less than 40 of those cases were prosecuted by the police, Arora pointed. Read More

Jan 10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Behind Campus Attack in India, Some See a Far-Right Agenda
Hindu nationalists view Jawaharlal Nehru University, where a mob rampaged last weekend, as “a symbol of everything that is bad in this country,” one analyst said. For decades, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party and its affiliates have struggled to control one of India’s most fertile ideological recruiting grounds: university campuses.

That project erupted in violence last weekend, as masked men and women stormed the New Delhi campus of Jawaharlal Nehru University, one of India’s premier liberal institutions.

Witnesses said police officers stood by as students were attacked with rods and bricks. Some assailants shouted slogans associated with Mr. Modi’s governing party and its parent organization, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, or R.S.S., which for decades has aspired to turn India into a Hindu nation. Read More

Jan 9

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

House church shut down in Uttar Pradesh. Pastor accused of forced conversion: Hindu Yuva Vahini, a Hindu youth militia founded by Yogi Adityanath, attacked a house church worship service in Kalwanakara village in Uttar Pradesh on January 5, following which the local authorities shut down the house church.
According to the village head pastor Veerendra Kumar, 15 radical Hindu nationalists disrupted the Sunday worship service where around 40 Christians had gathered. According to local reports, the radicals attacked the service around 12 noon and threatened the church pastor and the attendees. The radicals accused pastor Kumar of forced conversions, and said that the pastor was attracting poor Hindus to Christianity by promising them benefits and physical wellness. Read More

Jan 9

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Tennessee pastor is still being barred from leaving India three months after his arrest even though a customs case against him for allegedly not paying duty on the money he brought into the country has been resolved, according to a lawyer representing the family. Cece Heil, senior counsel with the American Center for Law and Justice, told The Christian Post that pastor Bryan Nerren was scheduled to have a hearing before a court in Siliguri on Thursday morning as his case has gone back and forth between customs and the court system. Read more

Jan 9

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Indian Supreme Court agrees to hear petition on reservations for Christian Dalits: Christians want Scheduled Caste status to be granted regardless of religious affiliation. Changing religion does not end the discrimination imposed on the Dalit community. For years, the Church has asked for the revision of a 1950 presidential order that excludes converts to Christianity from quotas in public administration. India’s Supreme Court has agreed to hear a petition filed by Franklin Caesar Thomas, a lawyer representing the National Council for Dalit Christians (NCDC), seeking inclusion of Dalit Christians in the category of Scheduled Castes
The Bench headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde with Justices BR Gavai and Surya Kant will hear the petition and issued a notice to the federal government about the matter. Read More
 

Jan 9

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

American Pastor Held 3 Months in India Could Finally Have His Day in Court.

American Pastor Bryan Nerren, a US citizen, was arrested and has been detained in India for three months because of his faith, his attorneys say.
Nerren, 58, was facing the Siliguri Court on Thursday, which may finally release his passport and allow him to return home to the US and his family, according to the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) which is representing Nerren. After more than 17 years ministering to the people of Nepal and India – training Sunday School teachers – he was stopped on his way to a conference in India. He was questioned about his Christian faith and whether funds he was carrying would be used to support any Christian work; he was subsequently arrested and has been detained in India since October 5, 2019. Read More

Jan 9

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

India Catholics aim to build 100-foot Jesus statue, despite Hindu criticism
Catholics in India are seeking to erect the nation’s tallest statue of Jesus, over objections by Hindi groups who say one of their gods lives on the hill designated for the project. Work began last week on the statue, planned to be nearly 100 feet tall, on 10 acres of land owned by the Archdiocese of Bangalore. If completed, the statue would be almost as tall as Poland’s 108-foot Christ the King statue, completed in 2010. Poland’s statue is believed to be the tallest statue of Jesus in the world.
Hindu groups have opposed the project, objecting that the Kapalabetta hilltop is the abode of their deity Kapali Betta. They said Christians cannot set up a statue there. Read More

Jan 7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Delhi, BJP youth wing attacks Jawaharlal Nehru University: A crowd of men and women covered in masks and armed with sticks, knives and hammers has attacked the campus of Jawaharlal Nehru University (Jnu) in Delhi, one of the most prestigious universities in the world.
The attack took place on the night of January 5 and resulted in over 30 injuries among students and teachers. For witnesses, the attackers are said to be militants of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the youth wing of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Hindu nationalist party that rules the country. Read More

Jan 6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Church in India won't host next Asian Youth Day: Church officials in India have said the nation will not host the 2021 Asian Youth Day as planned, ucanews reported Monday.
“Our country was given the responsibility of hosting Asian Youth Day … After consultations with higher authorities, it was decided that it was better to call off the event as the present scenario does not allow us to hold the program,” Bishop Nazarene Soosai of Kottar, head of the Indian bishops' youth commission, told ucanews Jan. 6. India's ruling political party, the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, has been increasingly hostile to religious freedom for minorities. Read More

Jan 6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Police in Uttar Pradesh, India, Most Harsh on Christians, Sources Say
Officers frequently bow to pressure from Hindu extremists.
Police in northern India’s Uttar Pradesh state work in tandem with Hindu extremists to treat Christians and other religious minorities especially harshly, sources said. “The UP police force is very different from the rest of India,” Dinanath Jaiswar, a volunteer with legal advocacy group Alliance Defending Freedom-India, told Morning Star News. “They are very brash in their dealings with Muslim and Christian minorities, and there have been several cases of violence in police custody, but by God’s grace we have tried our best to reach them on time, and even while in the clutches of the enemy, God protects His people.” Read More

Jan 6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now they have come looking for professors and students in Universities to silence them - an erie ghost from Gernmany's past.A day after hundreds of unidentified masked men allegedly belonging to the RSS and its student wing ABVP, unleashed terror on JNU by mercilessly beating up students and teachers, former Home Minister P Chidambaram termed the situation in India as the “rapid descend into fascism.” Calling the attack “the gravest act of impunity, shocking and shameful” Chidambaram asserted, “This incident is perhaps the most clinching evidence that we are rapidly descending into anarchy. Read more

Jan 4

 

 

 

 

 

Be careful what you wish and whom you hug: Former Foreign Secretary and National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon warns on CAA.The impact of the CAA, the NRC and other recent internal decisions on our external decisions, on our image abroad and our foreign policy (cannot but be adverse). Because what has happened as a result of the last year or so specially is that we are increasingly isolated Read more

Jan 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Protests against the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) continues across India as the country welcomed New Year Yesterday.
Activists and students in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, challenged the government by marching and reading out India's Constitution in the cold evening. The new law passed by the BJP government provides citizenship for Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Buddhist, Christian and Parsi refugees from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh. However, the law intentionally omits Muslims from the illegal immigrants list. Read More

Jan 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christians face ‘heightened intolerance’ in India, activist claims. The four people arrested in Srisailam, Andhra Pradesh, were reading the Bible at a park close to the Mallikarjuna Temple, a popular tourist destination. The state police charged them with violating a 2007 law forbidding the propagation of other religions in places of worship or prayer.According to local news reports, the four men were spotted by security guards opening the Bible and posing with it for photographs. The guards then brought the men to the local police station. Read More

Jan 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christians in India Spend Christmas in Jail, Accused of Illegally Practicing Medicine. Christians arrested in central India after Hindu nationalist, tribal villagers disrupted their worship service spent Christmas in jail before they were released on bail after 11 days – accused of illegally practicing medicine.
Pastor Mukam Kiraad, 35, along with two members of his church, 40-year-old Lalsingh Tomar and 38-year-old Nanliya Rawat, were shocked to learn that they were charged under a Madhya Pradesh state law prohibiting unregistered medical practice, punishable by up to three years in prison.
Their attorney, Rahul Parihar, said he also was stunned Read More
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