Bangalore, (Karnataka) October 13, 2008: At around 1 am in the morning, St Anthony Catholic Church was set ablaze by a group of unidentified fundamentalists at Yedavanahalli village in Attibele, near Hosur, in Bangalore Urban district, Karnataka.
A group of four to five miscreants unlawfully entered the church and set fire to the Holy Bibles, hymn books, musical instruments and amplifiers used for prayer.
The tabernacle, a dozen chalices and at least 50 vestments were also gutted in the fire. According to Fr. Santosh, property worth Rs. 10 Lacs, has been gutted in the fire.
Fr. Santosh told Christian Legal Association, that two police constables were deployed at the church on the fatal night, the doors of the church were kept open so that they could take shelter if it rained.
Inspector Prushotham, of the Attibele police station, told EFI that a case has been registered under Section 448 & 436 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) the FIR No: 219/08.
He further, stated that investigation is taking place to find the cause of the fire.
IEM Pastor implicated on false charges of forced Conversion in Madhya Pradesh
Dhar, (Madhya Pradesh) October 12, 2008: Pastor Ganesh Kharde of Indian Evangelical Team (IEM) was arrested on October 12 in Dhamond, of Dhar district in Madhya Pradesh.
This incident took place, at around 11am in the morning when the Bajrang Dal activists unlawfully entered the church with a video camera and began to film the church service.
When pastor Kharde objected to this, the extremists immediately called the police alleging the Christians of forcible conversions.
The police arrested pastor Kharde along with four other Christians and sealed the house and all the biblical items that were present there.
When Evangelical Fellowship of India (EFI) spoke to the officials at the Dhamond police station they informed that the Pastor was arrested under Section 3, 4 of the Madhya Pradesh Anti-Conversion law and the FIR no is 400/08. Pastor Ganesh Kharde has been released on bail on October 13.
Rev. Dr. Richard Howell
Evangelical Fellowship of India
New Delhi, India
Evangelical Fellowship of India (established 1951) is a charter member of World Evangelical Alliance, an accredited NGO with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations