AP: Jesus statue vandalized twice *Karnataka: Hindutva persecution *Gujarat: Church refutes conversion charge

March 29, 2012 by admin  
Filed under Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, India, Karnataka, newsletter-lead, Persecution

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Andhra Pradesh, March 29, 2012: On 24th March, 2012, a statue of Jesus was vandalized in Jadcharla, Andhra Pradesh for the second time this month.

This act of vandalism occurred between 1 and 2 am on the 24th of March. This was the second time that the statue has come under attack this month. On the 1st of March, the statue’s glass enclosure was shattered by unknown miscreants. Ronald John, the district president of All India Christian Council (aicc-Mahabubnagar) rushed to the spot. A few politicians and Christian leaders from the locality also visited the location and expressed their solidarity over the incident. They vowed to see that the miscreants were penalized.

A forensic lab crew is presently investigating the crime scene for any clues that would yield leads to pin down the culprits. Security around the locality has also been beefed up with about 30 constables deployed to keep watch of the streets.

- aicc

Karnataka: Hindutvas beat pastor & believers

 

Karnataka, March 29, 2012: Pastor Mallikarjun has been active with his ministry in Gadag District of Karnataka during the last 2 and half years. He has a congregation of about 35 believers. In the surrounding 3 villages there are altogether 3 fellowships with a total membership of about 60 members. The pastor lives with his wife Manjula (33) and their 3 children two girls and a boy, aged 1, 5 and 7 years.

On Wednesday, 28th March, the pastor went for a prayer meeting at the residence of a believer which is about 15 kilometers away from his village. Also as there was a festival in the village yesterday, after the prayer meeting, the pastor along with 4 of his believer friends began distributing some handbills about the Christian faith to the people assembled for the festival. This infuriated some Hindu fundamentalists and at about 1.30 pm one Ravi Bagle and his friends, all members of the local RSS unit, attacked them and beat them up mercilessly. Then they dragged all the five of them to the police station and filed a complaint against them alleging that they were forcibly trying to convert Hindus to Christianity.

In the meantime the GCIC came to know about the arrest and got in touch with some of the known police officials and succeeded in getting 3 of the believers released at about 11 pm. The pastor was charged under sections 107 and 157 of IPC and was about to be produced before the magistrate. The GCIC immediately got a lawyer, and he succeeded in getting the pastor and the other believer too released at about 1.30 am. But the pastor had to meet the Tahsildar on 29th morning and give his version. The case is on. Please pray for Pastor Mallikarjun.

- persecution.in

Gujarat Church refutes conversion charge

 

Gujarat, March 29, 2012: Dharmendra Rathod had claimed that on January 2, 17 minors were converted to Christianity.

The Church in Gujarat has termed a probe into proselytization charge against it as “intimidatory and harassing” tactics by the state government.

A forum for Peace and Justice based in Petlad town of Anand district had alleged that 32 minor dalit children were converted into Christianity by a Roman Catholic Church at Khambat taluka.

Father Cedric Prakash, convenor Centre for Human Rights, Justice and Peace described the charges as “baseless, misleading and mischievous,”.

He said the forum was referring to the ceremony where some Catholic children were conferred sacraments of First Holy Communion and Confirmation at the Khambat church.

Forum coordinator Dharmendra Rathod had claimed that on January 2, 17 minors were converted to Christianity at Roman Catholic Church of Nagra and on February 12 nearly 15 other minor children were converted at the denomination’s Church in Cambay.

He alleged that the schedule caste children, who belonged to the weavers’ community, were converted without their parents knowledge.

However, three church officials including Frs. Andrews Silvera, Vinay and Piyush from the Cambay church have rubbished the claims.

“All the children whose names have been mentioned are Christians by birth so there is no question of conversion. Their parents were present during a ceremony that was held,” said Fr Silvera.

He said they have made their statements to the police on Tuesday.

“This is another clear instance of how minorities in Gujarat continue to be intimidated and harassed by right-wing forces in nexus with powerful vested interests,” said Fr Prakash.

- ucan

Jesus statue is desecrated in Jadcherla

March 6, 2012 by admin  
Filed under Andhra Pradesh, India, newsletter-india, Persecution

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RC ChurchAndhra Pradesh, March 03, 2012: A Jesus statue was desecrated in RC church premises at Signal Gadda Road, Jadcherla, Andra Pradesh.

According to eye witness report, there was a marriage procession passing through that road at around 11 pm on Thursday night, when some miscreants from the procession trespassed onto the RC church premises and vandalized the statue. The All India Christian Council (aicc) yesterday morning approached the MRO and submitted a memorandum and has filed a case at the local police station.

- aicc

A Church is damaged in Kakinada

February 21, 2012 by admin  
Filed under Andhra Pradesh, India, Persecution

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Pastor P. Ratna Babu

Pastor P. Ratna Babu

Andhra Pradesh, November 06, 2011: A church was vandalised by anti-Christian group in Kakinada, East Godavari District.

An anti-Christian group led by Mr. Cheduluri Gouraiah had installed a picture of an idol on a land belonging to Kreesstu Aseenudu Ministries (KSM) in early October. Pastor P. Ratna Babu then complained about this illegal activity to the local district Superintendent of police and the District Collector of East Godavari District. Meanwhile the group led by Mr. Gouraiah trespassed on the KSM land, with construction material in a bid to illegally occupy and construct a temple.

Members of the church then informed the police about this activity, who later came and chased the deviant group away from the KSM land. Later, on the 6th of November, 2011, the same of group of people allegedly damaged the Church building belonging to KSM breaking the doors and windows in the process. A police complaint has been filed over the incident.

- aicc

Pastor Bangariah attacked in Andhra Pradesh *Pastor consumes poison, when faced by a mob

December 16, 2011 by admin  
Filed under Andhra Pradesh, India, newsletter-india, Persecution

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Pastor Bangariah attackedAndhra Pradesh, December 11, 2011: A group of 5 masked men forcibly entered a church during their worship service and physically abused several of the church members in Nalgonda district, in Andhra Pradesh.

The masked men forcibly entered “Praise Evangelical Fellowship” in Nalgonda District, in the Town Police station area, at around 12:55 pm, just as the Sunday worship service was coming to a close. The masked men were armed with stones and pelted them at the church members and also physically abused several of them.
As a result several of the church members had to be hospitalised. Children and women were not spared either. Among those grievously injured were pastor Bangaraih who suffered a head injury requiring 14 stitches, two children aged 8 and 10 and Mr. Shaker who also suffered head injuries. A complaint  has been filed at the Nalgonda town police station.

Pastor consumes poison, when faced by a mob

 

Andhra PradeshAndhra Pradesh, December 9, 2011: A Pastor in Elurupadu, West Godavari District, consumes poison when confronted by a mob, including police men who attempted to destroy a church.

Pastor M.D Ishmael had been pastor of the church in Elurupadu village, West Godavari district for the past 18 years. In 2007 the pastor bought a land of 42 cent in the village, which the local Raju community have been looking to exploit for commercial purposes. In their attempt to encroach the land belonging to the pastor, the Raju community, reportedly took the help of the local elected representative Mr. Bapiraju to make several threats and pressurize the pastor to hand over his land rights.

A case had been raised in 2009 by the local irrigation head Mr. Kanumuri Satyanarayana Raju, that Pastor Ishmael had encroached land belonging to the Irrigation Department. Since then the pastor has had to battle 12 court hearings over this issue.

The pastor claims to have purchased the land legally in the presence of the local panchayat, having bought it in 2007 from the then MLA Mr. Ramaraju, for a sum of Rs. 1, 75,000 /- only

According to a report submitted by the pastor to the court, there were 14 other illegal buildings including temples in the land that the irrigation department claimed to be their’s; none of the owners of these building were harassed. The pastor is currently in hospital after consuming poison, when a group of hooligans, including the police, tried to destroy the church and overpowering his attempts to protest.

- aicc

Six ‘Hindu Vahini’ activists arrested for attack on Muslim youths

November 21, 2011 by admin  
Filed under Andhra Pradesh, India, newsletter-india, Persecution

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Attack on Muslim YouthsAndhra Pradesh, November 15, 2011: In a major crack down on the cases of attack on Muslim youths, six activists of a right wing Hindu group ‘Hindu Vahini’ were arrested by the city police. Soon after the Bakrid, there were continuous attacks on Muslim Youths in different parts of the city by which nearly eight of them were injured severely. According to the police the Hindu activists were angry at the Muslims for the alleged slaughter of cows on the eve of Bakrid. Those arrested were S Sadanand (27), Shakti Vinod(24), K Unni Krishna(23), Pabha Bhargav(21), S V Santosh (22) and P Kalyan (26), who were all either well educated or pursuing good carriers. Sadanand was earlier arrested in the communal violence cases of 2010.

The Police said that the accused on the night of November 8th assembled at Baghlingampally Park and planned to divide themselves in to three groups with the intension of carrying out attacks on two wheelers entering the Thilak Nagar Cross road using knives and iron rods. At first they stabbed Mohammed Omer Farooq near a graveyard in Nimboliadda with knives while he was on a ride with his Bike along with his friend. Irshad Hussain was the second victim as he was attacked with an iron rod at Narayanguda. The accused targeted Syed Meraj and Syed Mustaq Ali near Baghlingampally by intercepting the Tata Ace vehicle they were travelling in. A while after the midnight Azam Pasha and Idris Ansari were attacked at Balamari. Three hours later they attacked Aziz from the center point hotel in Bowenpally and soon disappeared in their Bikes.

City Police Commissioner Mr. Abdul Khayoum Khan considering the seriousness of the offence has handed it over to the Special Task Force. The task force was successful in trapping the offenders based on the descriptions provided by the victims. Police have seized three motorcycles, three iron rods, one knife and six cell phones which were used in the attacks. They are now under judicial custody for further probes.

The Muslim organizations have raised their concern over the violent activities of Hindu right wing forces in the city. They alleged that the Police were rather unwilling to bring the real culprits in front of the law by not handing over the case to the Special Investigation Team [SIT]. The cases which are grievous and communal in nature and planned to spread terror in city are under the normal circumstances, handed over to SIT.

The case was not different and handed over to the SIT during the 2010 communal riots of Hyderabad city, with the intension of effectively combating terror atmosphere. The Muslim organizations have expressed their feel that the case is not yet solved because the arrested persons are just pawns in the whole game of targeting Muslims and they believe that the real masters are still out and free planning further attacks on the innocent Muslim Youths.

- tcn

Dalit Christian sentenced to 3 year imprisonment

November 2, 2011 by admin  
Filed under Andhra Pradesh, India, newsletter-india, Persecution

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Dalit Christian Andhra Pradesh, November 01, 2011: A Christian in New Paloncha, Khamman Dist (AP) is sentenced to 3 years imprisonment for accidentally pasting a poster over another religious poster during a campaign for an evangelical crusade that was to take place in October.

Mr. Burgula Prasad, a zealous Christian believer from Seetharampatnam village, Khamman District (AP), wanted to proclaim the Gospel of Christ to his village and made arrangements to organise a Crusade inviting eminent evangelist and speaker Dr. John Manga Charyulu. The Crusade was to take place from the 3rd of October to the 5th of October.

In order to create awareness about the crusade, Mr. Prasad and his team went about placing posters on various public locations in and around the village. While doing this they accidentally placed a poster over another poster in Indranagar Colony in New Paloncha. This created a stir among the locals who started protest and created a road block.

Mr. Prasad was called in by the New Paloncha town police where he apologised to the police and the demonstrators. Mr. Prasad was then left free but after a month, on the 28th of October he was summoned by the police who informed him about an FIR filed against his name. As a result of the FIR, he has been sentenced to 3 years imprisonment on a non-bailable case.

Mr. Prasad is a dalit from an economically impoverished family, and has a wife and two children.

- aicc

5 Christian volunteers arrested on false charges & 2 Pastors attacked

October 19, 2011 by admin  
Filed under Andhra Pradesh, India, newsletter-lead, Persecution

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Pastor Rajasheke & damaged vehicle

Pastor Rajasheke & damaged vehicle

Andhra Pradesh, October 16, 2011: The 4th & latest attack in Karimnager, was on Sunday, 16th evening on Pastor Suresh of Glorious Ministries, Godhavarikhani and Pastor Rajsheker, co-ordinator of Calvary Festival.
 
Dr.Satish Kumar of Calvary Mission, Kukatpally, Hyderabad proposed to conduct the Calvary Festival (Public Meeting) at Godhavarikani (after acquiring the requisite permissions) from October 18 – 20, 2011.
 
A team was put in charge of distributing publicity material in Godhavarikhani, Ramgundam and NTPC. A Hindu fundamentalist, Thota Kumaraswamy of Annapurna colony, Jyothinager, NTPC objected, abused & obstructed the team members, falsely accusing them of forceful conversions. The team members dragged Thota Kumaraswamy into their vehicle and took him to the NTPC police station. On learning about the incident, Pastors Suresh and Rajsheker rushed to the police station. A group of religious fundamentalists who were also approaching the police station, recognized the Pastors’ vehicle & started pelting it with stones. Both the pastors suffered grievous injuries and their vehicle was badly damaged. The police reached in time, saved the pastors and took them to the police station, while the mob escaped.
 
It is learnt that NTPC police registered two cases  – one on the Calvary festival volunteers Sunand, Ravi, Kishore, Daniel Raj & Devadas – as per the complaint lodged by Thota Kumaraswamy. FIR no.149 IPC sec 153/a, r/w 324 & 149 under non-bailable sections, which states “promoting enmity between religious groups”. They also registered another case against the religious fundamentalists who attacked the Pastors.

Calvary festival volunteers will be sent to Court for judicial remand on 18th Oct, 2011. Subsequently our people have to apply for bail in the concerned court.
 
The cases are being investigated by Prasanth Rao S.I. and G. Rajendra Prasad C.I. of NTPC Jyothinager, Godhavarikani, dist. Karimnagar, AP.
 
It is increasingly alarming to see Christians arrested and jailed on false charges. Not only are Hindu extremists carrying out an anti-Christian agenda, but the police, too, are quick to register complaints against the victims instead of the aggressors. This situation is increasingly alarming not only because the real offenders are encouraged to attack and harass the vulnerable Christian minority, but also because of the authorities’ indifference.
 
Please pray for normalcy in the region.
 
- franklin sudhaker

Bishop Prakash Mallavarapu of Vijayawada has exhorted the religious to encourage one another to do good

July 25, 2011 by admin  
Filed under Andhra Pradesh, India, newsletter-india, Persecution

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Bishop-Prakash-Mallavarapu-of-Vijaywada

Bishop Prakash Mallavarapu of Vijaywada

Bishop Prakash Mallavarapu of Vijayawada has exhorted the religious to encourage one another to do good and to strive for justice, reconciliation and peace while proclaiming the gospel. He was speaking on the Verbum Domini – the apostolic exhortation of the Holy Father Benedict XVI – at the annual general body meeting of the religious of Vijayawada on July 17.

The prelate also encouraged them to join the proposed national-level hunger strike for the dalits’ cause in Delhi from July 25-27. He asked the Conference of Religious of India (CRI) members to sponsor lay people from their diocese taking part in the huger strike and also declare a day of fasting and prayer in solidarity. Over a hundred religious belonging to different congregations had assembled at Loyola College hall. A prayer service conducted at the beginning of the meeting enabled the participants to prepare themselves to listen to the insightful sharing of the speakers. The Holy Bible was carried to the podium by local CRI president, Jesuit Father Stanley while the assembly responded with hymns and prayers. A dance choreographed on the Bible messages was performed by the students of St. Joseph’s school, Gunadala. Sister Christine of Franciscan Missionaries of Mary anchored the seminar while the speakers shared their views on the different chapters of the Verbum Domini – issued by the Holy See on September 30. Bishop Mallavarapu spoke of the need of preparing well the liturgy of the Eucharist especially the homily, “which should be the breaking of the Word”. Father Stanley, the Rector of the Loyola College, explaining the chapter on Verbum Dei- Word of God, said “God constantly is speaking to us throughout the history of salvation and, in Jesus, he is communicating with us in fullness. We are bound to respond to this relationship of love and obey his directives and lead a sinless life.” Monfort Brother Jesu was elected to the vacant post of the vice–president of the local CRI and Sister Anjali was appointed treasurer. The Vicar General of the dioceses, in charge of the religious affairs, Father Chinnappa officiated the Holy Mass.

- Sister Benigna Menezes

Bishop Prakash Mallavarapu of Vijayawada has exhorted the religious to encourage one another to do good

July 21, 2011 by admin  
Filed under Andhra Pradesh, India, newsletter-india, Persecution

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Bishop-Prakash-MallavarapuBishop Prakash Mallavarapu of Vijayawada has exhorted the religious to encourage one another to do good and to strive for justice, reconciliation and peace while proclaiming the gospel. He was speaking on the Verbum Domini – the apostolic exhortation of the Holy Father Benedict XVI – at the annual general body meeting of the religious of Vijayawada on July 17.

The prelate also encouraged them to join the proposed national-level hunger strike for the dalits’ cause in Delhi from July 25-27. He asked the Conference of Religious of India (CRI) members to sponsor lay people from their diocese taking part in the huger strike and also declare a day of fasting and prayer in solidarity. Over a hundred religious belonging to different congregations had assembled at Loyola College hall. A prayer service conducted at the beginning of the meeting enabled the participants to prepare themselves to listen to the insightful sharing of the speakers. The Holy Bible was carried to the podium by local CRI president, Jesuit Father Stanley while the assembly responded with hymns and prayers. A dance choreographed on the Bible messages was performed by the students of St. Joseph’s school, Gunadala. Sister Christine of Franciscan Missionaries of Mary anchored the seminar while the speakers shared their views on the different chapters of the Verbum Domini – issued by the Holy See on September 30. Bishop Mallavarapu spoke of the need of preparing well the liturgy of the Eucharist especially the homily, “which should be the breaking of the Word”. Father Stanley, the Rector of the Loyola College, explaining the chapter on Verbum Dei- Word of God, said “God constantly is speaking to us throughout the history of salvation and, in Jesus, he is communicating with us in fullness. We are bound to respond to this relationship of love and obey his directives and lead a sinless life.” Monfort Brother Jesu was elected to the vacant post of the vice–president of the local CRI and Sister Anjali was appointed treasurer. The Vicar General of the dioceses, in charge of the religious affairs, Father Chinnappa officiated the Holy Mass.

- Sister Benigna Menezes

Pastor beaten in Andhra Pradesh

July 9, 2011 by admin  
Filed under Andhra Pradesh, India, newsletter-india, Persecution

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Christians worshipping in Andhra Pradesh

Christians worshipping in Andhra Pradesh

Andhra Pradesh, India, July 8 (CDN) — Pastor Johnny Lazarus, 50, was beaten by Hindu extremists on June 28 at Bollepally village in Bhongir Mandal. The All India Christian Council (AICC) reported that one extremist, Malla Reddy, accused Pastor Lazarus of performing witchcraft on him. Reddy and his family members verbally abused the pastor and his faith, saying, “You brought a low-caste god among us,” slapped him and threatened to harm him further if he did not leave the area immediately. The pastor reported the attack to police and to the AICC. Police officers summoned both parties on July 1, and the attackers apologized to the pastor, putting into writing that they would not disturb him again. The pastor forgave his assailants.

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