Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Nirmala Carvalho

10/8/2012 (1 year 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

Article Highlights

By Nirmala Carvalho

Asia News (www.asianews.it/)

10/8/2012 (1 year 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

Made to order: China's Shandong Airlines gives Boeing $4.6 billion order Watch

Image of Boeing is already bogged down with 400 orders for the C919, mostly from China, many analysts expect it to win more orders, especially from domestic carriers.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

China is a nation on the move, literally. Wishing to spread its growing industrial superiority worldwide, China's Shandong Airlines has said that it has placed an order for 50 Boeing 737 aircraft, worth $4.6 billion at list prices. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


China set to become the world's largest Christian nation Watch

Image of China will soon become the world's largest Christian nation, and that's wonderful news!

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In nearly every human respect, China is the world's biggest. It's the world's most populous country, the world's largest English speaking nation, and soon, it may be the world's largest Christian nation. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Chinese Christian ... continue reading


China's price for progress: One fifth of its soil found contaminated Watch

Image of China's rapid industrialization is feared to be causing irreparable damage to its environment.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

China leap into an economic powerhouse has come at a very heavy price. A recent study has found that a fifth of China's soil is contaminated. According to an official study released by the government, 16.1 percent of China's soil and 19.4 percent of its arable ... continue reading


SELF TORTURE: Disregarding church, Filipino faithful flagellate themselves in bloody ritual Watch

Image of The penitents in San Fernando whip their backs as they make their way along narrow roads which lead to a dusty hill.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Their practices are not condoned by the Catholic Church - who says it takes away from the real meaning behind Lent. Regardless, Filipino men don hoods to conceal their faces, remove their shirts and whip themselves raw in city streets in atonement. LOS ANGELES, ... continue reading


Baby born with headless twin, four hands, recovering after surgery Watch

Image of The conjoined twins weighed just over three kilograms before surgery, with the removed parasitic fetus weighing 0.6kg.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A 13-day-old baby boy now has a greater chance at a normal life after doctors have removed superfluous limbs from him. Now in stable condition, the child was born with a headless, parasitic twin. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The child was born with four ... continue reading


DON'T READ THIS if you're squeamish Watch

Image of Both men had been married with children. Their wives reportedly left them before being detained by police three years ago.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Don't read this following article if you are in any squeamish or delicate in nature. We mean it. Two Brothers in Pakistan have been arrested for cannibalism after a young boy's head was found in their squalid home. The two had run into trouble with the law ... continue reading


Indian slums switch to solar powered lamps Watch

Image of Many poor urban communities in India are forced to live by candlelight. Slum tenants also use polluting fuels like kerosene, or

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In the slums of New Delhi, India, where starvation, disease and filth run rampant, a most extraordinary thing is happening. The poor here are being given solar lamps in order to use cleaner energy. The smoke from kerosene lamps, in addition to wood burning ... continue reading


Tantalizing clues persist in Flight 370 mystery as searchers dive deep Watch

Image of The Bluefin 21 submersible will scan the seafloor for any signs of wreckage. Each mission will take about 24 hours to complete and another day will be needed to prepare Bluefin for a second mission. The search could take weeks.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

International search efforts for Malaysia Air Flight 370 continue in the Indian Ocean, over a thousand miles off the coast of Perth Australia. Although investigators believe the batteries that power the data recorders are likely dead, other tantalizing clues about the ... continue reading


Chinese seek out Christ on Internet - over Chairman Mao Watch

Image of A search for the term referring to unregistered Christian organizations in China produces a blank search page with a notice reading,

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter, has revealed a highly interesting fact. As the Chinese Communist Party rigorously censors any mention of any potential religious influence, such as Islam, Tibetan Buddhism and Christianity, it comes as a surprise that ... continue reading


Ukraine instability raises fear of gas shortages in Europe Watch

Image of Gazprom says that it could demand advance payments from Kiev for gas this week. President Putin says Gazprom should hold off, pending talks with

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Russia's "theft" of Crimea has brought international condemnation, fears of a new cold war and made Ukraine highly nervous of a military takeover. In the meantime, Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned European leaders that Ukraine's failure to pay for ... 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, Acts 3:1-10
1 Once, when Peter and John were going up to the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 105:1-2, 3-4, 6-7, 8-9
1 Alleluia! Give thanks to Yahweh, call on his name, ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 24:13-35
13 Now that very same day, two of them were on their ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 23rd, 2014 Image

St. George
April 23: Pictures of St. George usually show him killing a dragon to ... 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