Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Nirmala Carvalho

10/8/2012 (2 years ago)

Asia News (www.asianews.it/)

A large group of Hindu nationalists belonging to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) were behind the incident

Hindu nationalists attacked and beat members of the the Pentecostal community, then the police arrested faithful and pastor. The Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC) demands the Orissa government open an investigation against police. Sajan George, president of the GCIC, "Exploiting anti-conversion laws to persecute minorities."

Hindu Nationalists

Hindu Nationalists

Highlights

By Nirmala Carvalho

Asia News (www.asianews.it/)

10/8/2012 (2 years ago)

Published in Asia Pacific

Keywords: Hindu Nationalists, India, Anti-Conversion Laws, Orissa, Mumbai, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, Vishwa Hindu Parishad, persecution, anti-Christian, Nirmala Carvalho


MUMBAI, India (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Attacked and beaten by Hindu nationalists, these Christians were finally arrested by the local police, because they were "guilty" of celebrating a baptism. The episode took place in Kanthapada, in the district of Balasore (Orissa). The unjust acts were committed against 20 Pentecostal Christians (of these, 10 were catechumens), on October 2, 2012.

Sajan George, the president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), called the event "outrageous," and he demanded that the chief minister of Orissa "open an investigation into the police officers involved." A large group of Hindu nationalists belonging to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) were behind the incident. They broke into the middle of the ceremony, beating and insulting the minister Jayaram Marandi and the faithful. Shortly thereafter, police from Khantapada station arrived, forcing the 20 Christians to get on to a truck, and then brought them in for interrogation. After the arrest, the police deployed a large number of agents to "control" that the village. Sajan George explained: "To harass, intimidate and arrest these Christian communities, the Hindu nationalists are exploiting the atrocious Orissa Freedom of Religion Act 1997 [Ofra Act 1997, the anti-conversion law of the State, ed], with the connivance and tacit consent of both administration and police." According to the president of the GCIC, "the state government should stop persecuting those who use the decree against the population and threaten the Constitution, which is based on respect for justice and freedom." On paper, the anti-conversion laws prohibit conversions that occur "through force, coercion or fraud," and thus allow the government to investigate such matters. In fact, they are applied only in cases of Hindus who switch to another religion. Since its implementation, conversions have decreased in number. After the anti-Christian pogrom in Kandhamal (2008), he added, "the perception of being under threat grew," because "the presence of the Sangh Parivar [umbrella that collects all the Hindu nationalist groups and movements, ed] has grown," bringing with it "hate campaigns and social boycott against Christians."

However, his greatest concern and discouragement are raised by "the extreme slowness of the machinery of justice for the victims of the massacres: while the number released from prison increases, alongside a decrease in convictions, and even those who have been found guilty get bail." The most striking case concerns Manoj Pradhan, a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP, ultra-nationalist Hindu party), who was responsible for the killing of a Christian leader in the pogrom. Despite a final sentence of seven years in prison - and trials for three other killings - the man is now free on bail. Meanwhile, another attack took which place in Orissa has come to the attention of the GCIC. On 24 September, 2012, in Krutamgarh (Kandhamal district), 12 Hindu activists of the Bajrang Dal disrupted a prayer service at a Pentecostal Christian community. The attack was particularly violent and the offenders forced the pastor Mantu Nayak to the ground and beat him, resulting in serious head injuries and fractures to both arms. For the moment, the police have arrested eight activists and are looking for others.



Comments


More Asia Pacific

Modern day plague: Swine flu deaths pass 800 in India Watch

Image of A lack of knowledge about swine flu in India is helping to stoke panic.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

There is heightened concern - if not outright panic at the alarming cases of swine flu being reported in India. At least 800 known people have died of the disease, and medical authorities there are struggling to contain the current outbreak. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Would you spend two months on a train? World's largest railway opens in China Watch

Image of China has opened a railroad that runs to Spain, in order to bring cheap goods to Europe faster and cheaper.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

China has successfully built and tested the world's largest railway line, sending a cargo train on a 16,156-mile round trip to Spain and back. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The train arrived with cheap goods and returned with expensive olive oil during the ... continue reading


At nearly $305 million, Gauguin becomes most expensive painting of all time Watch

Image of The painting depicts two young women wearing brilliant colors before a landscape. One is in native dress, the other in a colonial, missionary style dress.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A Paul Gauguin oil painting of two Tahitian girls, staring out into space with questioning glances, appropriately entitled "Nafea Faa Ipoipo" or "When Will You Marry?" has gone on to become this world's single most expensive painting. The nation of Qatar bought ... continue reading


Climate change disasters forcing Indian parents to sell children into slavery Watch

Image of Uprooted by climate-related disasters, many Indian children are tricked, forced into prostitution or forced labor.

By Nita Bhalla, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Disasters resulting from climate change are pushing poor Indian families into poverty so deep that they are lured by traffickers into selling their children into bonded labor or prostitution, Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi said on Thursday. NEW DELHI ... continue reading


Name and shame: Smartphones join the forceful battle against sexual harassment in India Watch

Image of In India, there were 309,546 crimes against women reported to the police in 2013, up from 244,270 the previous year, according to the National Crime Records Bureau.

By Nita Bhalla, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Indian women armed with Smartphone's are using the influence of social media to fight sexual harassment by filming and publicly shaming men who molest them as greater awareness of violence against women spreads. NEW DELHI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - In the ... continue reading


Terrifying TransAsia plane crash, caught on tape, adds to the list of fatal Asian air tragedies Watch

Image of A TransAsia Airways ATR 72-600 crashes into a Taipei river, killing at least 26 with 17 still missing.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

26 people are reported dead after a TransAsia Airways airplane crashes into the Keelung River. Following its takeoff from the Taiwanese capital Taipei, the plane clipped its wing on a bridge. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The terrifying crash, that leaves 17 ... continue reading


Angry North Korea makes first credible threat to U.S. in decades, officials alarmed Watch

Image of North Korea has vowed to annihilate that United States because of remarks made by President Obama.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

North Korea is up to its old and familiar tricks, threatening to attack the United States with nuclear weapons and cyber attacks, and rejecting any further negotiations. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - These threats appear to be a desperate act of retaliation ... continue reading


Lake Baikal, one of world's biggest freshwater sources, falls to lowest level in 60 years Watch

Image of Lake Baikal stretches for 400 miles through southeastern Siberia, north of the Mongolian border.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Lake Baikal in Siberia, one of world's biggest freshwater sources is currently at its lowest levels in 60 years. A hydroelectric station is being blamed for the "excessive drainage" of the lake's resources. Communities in the surrounding area are under a state ... continue reading


Indian child workers rescued from illegal 'sweatshops' that make bangles Watch

Image of Police said the children were mainly from the states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh in northeastern India, and those traffickers had given their impoverished parents 5,000 rupees ($80) as payment for the children.

By Nita Bhalla, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Police in a series of early morning raids in the southern city of Hyderabad rescued hundreds of Indian children trafficked and enslaved to make bangles. NEW DELHI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Police found 87 children - mostly boys and some as young as 6 years ... continue reading


China's generosity is welcome - and very worrying Watch

Image of China then announced the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and launched the Silk Road Fund, backed by yet another development bank. While none has begun operating, China has pledged more than $140 billion to these new institutions.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Asian powerhouse of China has risen to the occasion to grant cash loans to strapped nations. China's purse strings are loose, and many of its loans immediately help the needs of ailing nations. While this has taken some of the pressure off the International ... continue reading


All Asia Pacific News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ezekiel 18:21-28
21 'If the wicked, however, renounces all the sins he ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 130:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8
1 [Song of Ascents] From the depths I call to you, ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 5:20-26
20 'For I tell you, if your uprightness does not ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for February 27th, 2015 Image

St. Leander of Seville
February 27: St. Leander of Seville, Bishop (Feast - February 27th) Leander ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter