Hindu extremists in two separate incident attacked Christian congregations in Madhya Pradesh and Delhi respectively.
Around 250 Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh (RSS) extremists barged into a church premise of an Independent Church pastured by Jaykar S. Kriti in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh during the Sunday worship service on February 24.
The assailants damaged church property worth Rs. 30,000 to 40,000. The petrified worshippers stood as mute spectators and witnessed the rampage that went for about half an hour.
The church is located in the Chawani area of Indore.
Pastor Jaykar S. Kristi told EFI that a news article concerning the extension of reservation to Dalit Christians in the local paper had triggered this attack.
Police arrested 17 persons in connection with the attack.
Hindu extremist groups such as the RSS have repeatedly protested the inclusion of Christians of Dalit origin in the 1950 Presidential Order granting reservation and other benefits to the Scheduled caste and tribes of India.
In a separate incident thirty Hindutva extremists belonging to Bajrang Dal group disrupted the prayer service of St. Sebastian Church on February 23, 2008 in Dilshad Garden, Delhi.
Fr. Antony William, the priest of the church told Christian Legal Association that they had prior information that local goons might attack the church, and had requested police protection for the Sunday worship service.
However, the attack came after the worship service concluded and the constable had left the premises.
The Hindutva extremists, who had been hiding in a nearby temple, came to the church and started shouting anti Christian slogans and disrupted the prayer service. The miscreants resorted to stone pelting at the vehicles belonging to the congregation members.
Nobody was injured in this incident.
The concerned police station informed CLA that a case has been registered under Section 427 of the Indian Penal Code (dealing with what?) and a local enquiry has been set up in to this matter.
No arrests had been made till press time.
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.