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Representatives of eight village councils in central India first summoned a new Christian to give him an ultimatum in October. They interrupted a church service on Oct. 18 asking for Sattar Singh Markam. “I was conducting the church service when some men came to call Markam and asked him to present himself before the council,” pastor Chitrasen Sahu told Morning Star News. “He went to see them after the church service was over.” At the joint meeting in Bargaon, in Chhattisgarh state’s Gariaband District, they told Markam to renounce Christ or “leave with your Christian faith and never come back,” Pastor Sahu said. Markham, who was suffering three epileptic seizures a day before he put his faith in Christ 12 years ago, told them the Lord had healed him and given him life and that he would never turn away from his Christian faith. A week later, on Oct. 25, a tribal mob of about 300 people incited by radical Hindus attacked his house after his church, which meets there, had finished worship. Two women remained inside, praying, when the mob arrived and began manhandling and arguing with them while Markam was working in his field. The mob also damaged his house. When he returned, the

Catholics in Delhi Archdiocese pray during an annual rally on Palm Sunday on April 9, 2017. (Photo: Bijay Kumar Minj/UCA News) The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the southern Indian state of Karnataka has reconverted 23 people from five Christian families to Hinduism. A reconversion ceremony on Nov. 29 was organized by Anant Kumar Hegde, a BJP leader and MP for Uttara Kannada district. “Hegde was handpicked by the Hindutva hierarchy to create communal divisions and tension in the coastal belt of Karnataka,” Sajan K. George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians, told UCA News. “After BJP victories in the 2014 and 2019 general elections, the Sangh Parivar [fanatic group] moved with the speed and cunning of a barracuda to attack and weaken the constitutional institutions needed to transform Indian society into a more equal and just one.” George said the BJP has used the twin weapons of a brute majority and communal polarization to implement laws and policies that have impacted most adversely those who are denied all rights and can make no claims to equality: women, Dalits, backward castes and tribal people. “This advance towards a Hindu Rashtra [Hindu nation] is viewed with concern and alarm by many, but as far as the majority

Sajan K. George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians, condemns the verbal attacks by Hindu nationalists against Christians during the ceremony. For a former BJP lawmaker, “The conversion of the Dalits and tribals to Christianity will be opposed tooth and nail.” Official data show however that claims about conversion activities are false, George explains. Haliyal Taluk (AsiaNews) – India’s Christian community has condemned the verbal attacks by nationalist leaders during the “reconversion” to Hinduism of 23 Christians, in all five Christian families, in a ceremony held last Sunday in Haliyal Taluk (Karnataka) that was attended by Anant Kumar Hegde, a lawmaker with India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). During the event there was an “outcry against the missionaries,” but this is “just propaganda designed to mobilise people for the Hindutva cause,” said Sajan K. George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), speaking to AsiaNews. The 'Ghar Wapsi’ (homecoming) ceremony saw former BJP lawmaker, Suneel Hegde, hand over a saffron flag, the official symbol of Hinduism, to the "returnees" as a sign of acceptance and identification as Hindu. Speaking to the crowd, Hedge said that “The conversion of the Dalits and tribals to Christianity will be opposed tooth and nail. More

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