EFI Persecution Watch, February 27, 2010

General February 27, 2010
1. Christians Attacked in Mysore, Karnataka
2. Police Lock up Church in Mysore
3. Grotto damaged in Udupi, Karnataka
4. Grotto damaged in Alappuzha, Kerela
5. Bellary Church Property Being Looted
6. Pastor Arrested in Orissa

February 27, 2010

Christians attack in Mysore, Karnataka

On February 15, Hindu extremists from the Bajrang Dal and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh attacked Christians in Gokalam, Mysore , Karnataka.

According to EFI correspondent Rev. Noel Kotian, Hindu extremists attacked 22 church members of Shekinah, Assembly of God's Church because of their faith in Jesus Christ.

Running from one house to another, the extremists beat up the Christians in their homes, took Bibles and Christian literature and burned them up.

Some Christians received injuries and a Christian identified only as Shivmurthy sustained serious injury on his right ear and head and underwent operation in a private hospital.

Jaylaxmi Puram police refused to take the Christian’s complaint and the Christians left the area in fear and are hiding in several homes of the neighboring area.


Police lock up church in Mysore, Karnataka

Mysore police locked up a church on February 14 in Neral village, Mysore , Karnataka after Hindu extremists filed a complaint against them of forceful conversion.

At about 5:00 p.m., Hindu radicals accused pastor N.S Suresh and church members of the Native Village Vision Church of forceful conversion and stopped the inaugural worship service of a new church. Shouting anti- Christian verbal abused, the extremists further claimed that they do not want any church or Christians in the area, reported our correspondent, Rev. Noel Kotian.

The Hindu extremists later filed a complaint against the Christians of forceful conversion in Beechanahalli Police station. Police on February 15 mornings visited the spot and locked up the church.

Police claimed that Christians did not submit the legal documents of the church site as requested while the latter claimed that the required documents were submitted.

Copies of church documents were also submitted to area Christian leaders who are taking steps to solve the matter. The church remained closed at press time.



Grotto damaged in Udupi, Karnataka

Suspected Hindu extremists on February 13 (Sunday) vandalized the statue of infant Jesus in Katkere, Udupi, Karnataka.

Entering the church premises in the mid of the night, the miscreants damaged the grotto located at the entrance of a 12 year old Catholic. Carmel Ashram Seminary also function within the church premises.

The miscreant broke the glass encasing the grotto and damaged the statue leaving behind scattered pieces around the place.

The church is attended by members from five nearby villages and students from nursing colleges.

Police registered the case and investigation is underway.

Earlier attacks:

The church met similar kind of anti- Christian attacked on June 25, 2007 where Sylvester Pereira, superior of the Carmel Ashram was beaten by Hindu extremists. The trial of this case still remains in the court.

Again on September 14, 2008, unknown miscreants destroyed two grottos of the church.

The church suspected the attacked as an attempt to disturb communal harmony and expressed that the repeated violence against churches and Christians left them feeing insecure.

Police protection was provided to the church.

Kindly pray that the church site of Native Village Vision Church will be settled in favor of them and for wisdom and peace for the church members. Also pray for safety for the Catholic churches across the state.

Kindly continue to pray for all the Christians in Karnataka and also for peace and justice .


Grotto damaged in Kerala

A group of unknown miscreants destroyed the grotto of the Pius X church on 11, February in Alappuzha, Kerala.

At about 11:30 p.m., two persons riding on a motorbike pelted stones at the grotto and took off as soon as people resting nearby came running out.

Attacked on grottos of churches in the area has become a common occurrence. Area police registered a case and investigation is underway

Pray for strength and boldness for all the Christians in Kerala amid persecutions.


Bellary Church Property Being Looted By Illegal Mining
BELLARY, Feb. 22, 2010, 14.30 Hrs (CBCI News):

With much pain and disappointment, we wish to inform the public about the manner in which the property of the Catholic Diocese of Bellary, situated in Sy. No. 9, of Ramgad Village, Sandur Taluk, Bellary District, is being illegally and forcefully mined and property looted.

In spite of repeated pleas to the relevant Government Departments, the illegal mining is carried on with the claimed active support of people in high offices of the Government.

The property belongs to the Catholic Diocese of Bellary. These lands are adjoining each other and are encompassed around by stone bunds. Four bungalows which are in a dilapidated condition are existing in the land. Church personnel resided in these houses for over 70 years. The ownership of the lands can be traced to the existing revenue records that are about 100 years old.

People apparently belonging to M/s Ranka International Pvt Ltd have from over a month, now and then, come to the land at Sy. No. 9, Ramgad Village and have illegally mined iron ore and have transported the same in transport vehicles. Upon questioning they have been extremely abusive and insulting and have claimed that they have the active support and backing of the people in the high offices of the present Government. Unfortunately, there isn't much support from the administration to protect the church property.

To make the situation worse, the company claims to have obtained a mining licence from the Mines & Geology Department in respect of Sy. No. 9 owned by the Bishop of Bellary (The Catholic Diocese of Bellary).

This is a grave injustice that is being done to us and it appears from the circumstances, the properties of the Church are not safe anymore and are unlawfully encroached upon. We seem to be soft targets for such unruly constituents who with the support of individuals in the Government have taken undue advantage of the situation here.

We express our frustration in this situation and seek from the Governments for its kind intervention to protect the lands of the Catholic Community of Bellary and to ensure that justice is done.

Henry D’Souza
Bishop of Bellary



Pastor Arrested in Orissa

On February 20, police arrested the Rev. Anant Prasad Samantray after Hindu extremists lodged a complaint against him of delivering derogatory remarks against Hinduism in Bhabanipatna, Kalahandi District of Orissa.

A former Hindu priest who decided to follow Jesus Christ, the Rev. Anant P. Samantray, after taking written permission from the local police authority shared his testimony from being a Hindu pandit to a Christian pastor and remarked that , “Jesus is the only way, the truth and the life” in a revival meeting, reported EFI correspondent Ashish K. Parida

After hearing his speech, some Hindu hardliners stopped him and dragged him to the police station and filed a complaint against him of speaking ill against Hinduism.

The revival meeting was attended by Christians only and some Hindu extremists happened to hear the message through a loudspeaker, reported our correspondent.

The pastor was sent to Kalahani District Jail on February 20 evening. Area Christian leaders are taking steps to get the pastor out from jail.

Kindly pray for religious tolerance in Orissa and for the early release of the pastor.


Rev. Dr. Richard Howell
General Secretary
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