April 26, 2010
Christian Convention Attacked in Madhya Pradesh
Hindu extremists allegedly from the Bajrang Dal disrupted the prayer meeting of a Christian convention on April 15 in Balaghat, Madhya Pradesh.
Our correspondent Rev. Akhilesh Edgar reported that the churches in Balaghat organized a three day convention from April 13-15 in the area stadium, with about 3500, 6000 and 9000 Christians in attendance on each day respectively. The Christians obtained officials’ permission to conduct the meeting and police protection was provided.
On the second day of the convention, the extremists hurled a petrol bomb into the meeting premises, “There was a loud noise and the congregations assumed that it was the sound of crackers” reported a participant Pastor Shailendra Shrivastava. Fortunately, the explosion did not hurt anyone and the meeting went on peacefully.
Again on the next day at 3 p.m., about 15 extremists barged into the stadium and beat up five Christians, accusing them of forceful conversion. Police on duty stopped the extremists from doing more harm. The Christians sustained bruises.
Later that evening, about 60 extremists showed up at the convention intending to stop the meeting. They angrily accused the Christians of forceful conversion and tried to beat them up. At this time, huge numbers of police were on duties who were able to stop the extremists. The convention was concluded under heavy police protection.
Please continue to pray for Madhya Pradesh where Christians have suffered increased attacks and concerted efforts to tarnish their image since the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came to power on December 2003.
Three Christians Arrested in Karnataka
Based on the complaint lodged by the Hindu extremists of forceful conversion, Karnataka police arrested three Christians on March 25 in Hunsur, Karnataka.
Our correspondent Rev.Noel Kotian reported that the incident took place when the extremists forced their way into the funeral service of Narayana (58) and accused three Christians Thammaiah, Sureh, Muthappa from Good Samaritan Church and relatives of late Narayana of forceful conversion.
Prior to the attack, the extremists filed a police complaint against the three Christians of forceful conversion and then marched towards the cemetery, started disturbing the gathering and beat up the Christians.
On baseless grounds, the police arrested three Christians under Sections 506,504,143 and 49 of the Indian Penal Code for punishment for criminal intimidation, insult with intent to provoke breach of peace, punishment and year, month respectively. They were sent them to Virajpet jail on the same day.
The three Christians were released on bail on April 15.
Two Christian workers detained in Karnataka
The Karnataka police detained two Christians after Hindu extremists filed a complaint against them of forceful conversion on April 19 in Belur, Hassan, Karnataka.
Our correspondent Rev. Noel Kotian reported that Hindu extremists barged into the prayer meeting conducted by Guru Gowriah and Puttuswamy Bhadraiah, started verbally abusing the Christians and manhandled them.
Halebidu police arrived at the scene and took the two Christian workers to the station for questioning and detained them for 4 hours.
The Christians were released without charges after the police took a written statement from them. Police enquiry is underway
An appeal to write to authorities
As concerned people, kindly write to the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka respectively, appealing to them to safe guard the rights of the minority communities and to give protection to churches against attacks and to take immediate action against the perpetrators of violence..
Shri Shivraj Singh Chouhan
Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh
Email: [email protected]
(O) Tel: (0755) 2551581 ; 2551433
(O) Fax: (0755) 2551781 ; 2540501
Chief Minister of Karnataka
Shri B. S. Yediyurappa
(O) Tel: +91 080 22253414 ; 22253424
(O) Fax: +91 080 22281021 ; 22253660
E-mail: [email protected]
Governor of Karnataka
Shri Hans Raj Bhardwaj
Raj Bhavan Road,
Bangalore - 560 001
Tel: + 91 80 22254102 ; 22253555
Fax: +91 80 22258150
Email: [email protected]
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