EFI News Persecution Watch, January 07, 2011

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January 07, 2011

Objectionable Christmas Cards Distributed in Orissa

The distribution of an objectionable picture of Jesus Christ with a can beer and a cigar on his hands, printed in Christmas greeting cards in Koratpur, Orissa hurts the religious sentiments of Christians all over the world.

Our correspondent Rev Ashish Parida reported that amid the biggest festival of Christians, malicious pictures of Jesus Christ holding a can beer in one hand and a cigar on the other hand was distributed in different areas of Koratpur during the Christmas season.

It was alleged that Manohar Randhari, a local politician of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) distributed the cards on Christmas Day.

Tension gripped in several parts of the district as protests were staged by Christian groups against the hate- Christians Christmas cards. Prohibitory orders under Section 144 (joining unlawful assembly armed with deadly weapons) were clamped near the Church and along the national highway and 201 (giving false information to screen offenders) near the entry and exit points of towns. Additional police force was also deployed in the town, reported our correspondent.

Manohar Rabdhari said he didn’t check the image printed on the card, and that "it was a mistake by the printing press in Bhubaneswar which was printed hurriedly".

Christian vehicle burned on Christmas Day in Orissa

A group of miscreants on Christmas Day burned a vehicle belonging to a Christian worker in Phulbani, Orissa.

Our correspondent, Ashish Parida reported that suspected anti- Christian people set on fire the vehicle of Suranjan Naik in the hospital campus where the vehicle was parked. At the time of the incident, Naik and his wife were away in another area. As soon as the news reached Suranjan Naik, he contacted the Superintendent of Police of Kondhamal and fire brigade was called in to put out the fire.

According to some eye witnesses, a group of suspected Hindu extremists went to the hospital in Kandhamal where the wife of Rev.Naik works as Superintendent of Nurses. The extremists poured kerosene oil at the door of Naik’s house but later set fire to Naik’s car and left shouting aggressive slogans.

Police protection was provided to Naik’s home and office. Investigation is underway but no arrests have been made at press time.

Side note: Suspicions point to the radical Hindu Samanova Kui Samaj Samiti, because in a recent meeting that took place in the Kandhamal Rev. Suranjan Naik had clashed verbally with Lombodhar Kanha, Ksss leader in Kandhamal. In front of a government representative, Suranjan Nayak had harshly criticized Lombodhar Kanha, accusing his movement of creating problems and attacking peaceful Christians who only want to practice their faith. On that occasion the Rev. Suranjan Nayak had asked the authorities to take measures against the radical Hindus, reported our correspondent.

Pastor attacked in Karnataka

Karnataka police on 5 January arrested a pastor after alleged Hindu extremists attack him and seriously injured him in Davengere, Karnataka.

The incident took place at about 8:30 p.m on 2 January when the extremists barged into the prayer service conducted by Pastor Isaac Samuel in Akki Pikki normadic community.

Objecting to the prayer meeting, the extremists hurled an ax towards the pastor. The chopper fortunately missed the pastor’s head and hit his shoulder which grievously wounded him. The pastor was admitted in the hospital and he received dozens of stitches. The Christian filed a police complaint.

However, in response to the counter claim against the pastor by the Hindu extremists, the police arrested Pastor Samuel in a hospital under IPC Section 153A for promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion.

It was also reported that Pastor Samuel’s wife and his two teen children are an unfortunate witnesses to the ghastly incident. They were in terrible shock.

Police warns Christians not to conduct prayer meetings in Karnataka

Karnataka police on 24 December warned a Christian not to conduct cottage prayer meetings after alleged Hindu extremists opposed to the prayer meetings and accused him of forceful conversion.

Our correspondent reported that alleged Hindu extremists attacked the prayer meetings conducted in Sampath Kamath’s house and filed a complaint against him at Manipal police alleging that he is forcefully converting Hindu people to Christianity.

It was reported that area extremists’ leader identified only as Ratna has been setting up the local villagers to filed a complaint against Kamath claiming that the prayer meetings disturbed the neighbors. He also alleged that the Christian attempted to attack him one night bringing with him more than half a dozen people in an ambassador car.

The Christian filed a complaint against the extremists but the police warned him not to conduct future meetings in home for safety measures and also forced him to put in writing that he will not conduct such meetings in his home.

Pastor Kidnapped and harassed in Andhra Pradesh

Alleged Hindu extremists kidnapped a pastor and forced him to worship at a Hindu temple on 26 in Secunderabad, Andhra Pradesh.

Our correspondent reported that the extremists with their faces covered grasped Pastor Jonathan D from behind, pushed him into a vehicle and took him around for about 6 hours.

The next day, the extremist forced the Christian to enter a temple in a thick forested area and beat him up when he refused to go inside .However, the extremists forcefully took him in and forced him to bow down before the idols and to shout “Jai Shri Ram” while they continued to beat, verbally abused and threatened him.

However, the pastor was able to escaped on 28 midnight while the assailants were fast asleep. He walked about 15 kms and found a main road which leads to Gulbarga (Karnataka) and then to Patancheru, Andhra Pradesh and called his family.

His family and church members came to pick him up by auto rickshaw and returned to Medak.

Christian assaulted in Madhya Pradesh

Hindu extremists allegedly from the Bajrang Dal and Dharam Sena on 26 Dec 2010 attack a pastor, seriously injuring him in Damoh Naka, Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh.

Our correspondent, Rev Akhilesh Edgar reported that evangelist Devanand Dandale was distributing gospel tracts when four extremists stopped him and questioned him from where he get his money and started beating him up. They kicked, punched slapped and pull his hair, taking rupees 4000/- from him.

According to reports, the money was borrowed from some friends in order to have some ready cash with him to meet the expenses of his pregnant wife, who is due for delivery any time within the next month.

Local dailies published the incident, stating that the convert Christian is forcefully converting people to Christianity

The Christian filed a police complaint against the attackers. His mobile phone was returned to him but the police have no clue as to where the money was.

Christians harassed in Madhya Pradesh

Hindu extremists from the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh on 31 December 2010 attack a pastor and his church, seriously injuring believers in Lalbarra, Balaghat, Madhya Pradesh.

The incident took place when about 25 angry extremists barged in the worship meeting of Alpha Bible Church , took the Bible from Pastor Mahendra Nagdeve, tore it up and beat him and the Church members.

The extremists broke church furniture, sound system, church vehicle and took thousand rupees from one church member. The extremists also grasped one lady and put her head inside a bowl put on cooking stove. Fourteen members including the pastor were hospitalized.

The matter was reported at Lalbarra police station and a case was registered against the attackers. But no arrests have been made at press time.

An appeal to write to authorities

As concerned people, kindly write to the Chief Minister of Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh 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 Navin Patnaik
Chief Minister of Orissa
Naveen Nivas, Aerodrome Road, P.O. Bhubaneswar
Distt. Khurda, Pin - 751 001 (Orissa)
[email protected]

(O) Tel: (0674) 2531100 ; 2535100 ; 2531500
(O) Fax: (0674) 2400100
(R) Tel: (0674) 2590299

Shri B. S. Yediyurappa
Chief Minister of Karnataka

(O) Tel: +91 080 22253414 ; 22253424
(O) Fax: +91 080 22281021 ; 22253660
E-mail: [email protected]

Shri Hans Raj Bhardwaj   
Governor of Karnataka
Raj Bhavan Road,
Bangalore - 560 001

Tel: + 91 080 22254102 ; 22253555
Fax: +91 080 22258150

Email: [email protected]

Shri Kiran Kumar Reddy
Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh
'C' Block, 6th Floor, AP Secretariat
Email: [email protected]

(O) Tel: (040) 23456698; 23455205
(O) Fax: (040) 23452498 ; 23454828

Shri Shivraj Singh Chouhan
Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh

(O) Tel: (755) 2551581 ; 2551433
(O) Fax: (755) 2551781 ; 2540501

Email: [email protected]

Issued By:
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