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INDIA Christians, Others Demand Ban On Hindu Extremist Groups As Anti-Christian Violence Spreads

Posted by jytmkh on September 15, 2008

NEW DELHI (UCAN) — Christian and other groups in India have demanded a ban on some Hindu radical organizations as anti-Christian violence spread to more states.

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Catholic nuns form a human chain on Sept. 7 in Mangalore, southern India, to protest anti-Christian violence in Orissa.

Anti-Christian violence prompted communist groups, the Lok Janashakti Party (people’s power party), the All India Christian Council, Christian Social Forum and others to issue separate calls for a ban on Bajrang Dal (party of the strong and stout) and Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP, world Hindu council).

The BJP is considered the political arm of these and other groups that want to turn India into a Hindu theocratic nation. A ban could abolish parties or prohibit them from functioning.

Hindu extremists reportedly attacked Sunday worshippers at a Protestant church in Karnataka on Sept. 7. Two days later the pro-Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP, Indian people’s party) marked its first 100 days in power in the southern Indian state.

On that same day, fire destroyed a Protestant church in Madhya Pradesh, a central state the BJP has ruled since December 2003. The British had built the church in 1922 in Ratlam, some 700 kilometers south of New Delhi.

David Samuel told UCA News he and other parishioners had decorated the church to celebrate 86 years when fire gutted it. Police blamed a short circuit for the fire, but Samuel said he suspects Hindu radicals.

Attacks on Christians and their institutions were also reported in September from Chhattisgarh in central India and Gujarat and Rajasthan along the western coast, all BJP-ruled states. Currently, the BJP also rules Himachal Pradesh and Uttaranchal state in northern India. It is also a ruling coalition partner in Bihar and Orissa in the east, and Punjab in the north.

The most recent incidents occurred against the backdrop of violence against Christians in Orissa state following the Aug. 23 killings of Swami Laxmananda Saraswati, an 85-year-old Hindu religious leader, and four associates. Maoists have claimed responsibility for this, but Hindu radicals blame Christians nonetheless.

Since Aug. 24, the violence in Orissa has killed at least 27 people, most of them Christians. Mobs of Hindu extremists also destroyed some 4,000 Christian homes and several churches, presbyteries and convents. Tens of thousands of Christians hid in forests for safety amid the violence.

On Sept. 6, the Orissa unit of the VHP defied a prohibition against holding a memorial program for Swami Saraswati, who had campaigned against Christian missioners for decades in Orissa’s Kandhamal district.

Sources and media reports said several Hindu monks at that memorial meeting for the slain Hindu leader took a special vow to eradicate Christians from Kandhamal district.

Swami Satchidananda Maharaj, the Hindu monk who presided over the meeting, announced the decision to form vigilance committees in all Orissa villages to oppose Hindu conversion to Christianity.

ia_bangalore.gifSwami Bhagwan Das, another speaker, accused Christians of killing Swami Saraswati and said the act challenged the entire Hindu society.

Another monk, Swami Arupananda Maharaj, also described the murder as an attack on Hinduism and called for Hindus to counter the move to make India a Christian nation.

Christian groups dismiss the allegations as baseless and aimed at inciting sectarian violence that could polarize voters ahead of the country’s next general election, due in early 2009.

Father John Fernandes, professor of Christian Studies at Mangalore University in Karnataka, says the anti-Christian incidents are part of “planned strategies” to garner votes. “In terms of votes Christians are insignificant, but for uniting Hindus, the hate campaign is significant for them,” the priest told UCA News on Sept. 10.

Father Fernandes regretted that “success” in one place motivates the Hindu radicals to test the strategy in other areas. He also expressed anguish over “destructive elements creeping into Hindu organizations,” saying these people promote violence against religious minorities as a model.

Maria David, who works for Indo Global Social Service Society, also says Hindu groups in Karnataka have launched a hate campaign against Christians after the state came under BJP rule.

Meanwhile, Christians held rallies across Karnataka on Sept. 7 to protest anti-Christian violence. In Mangalore, 2,290 kilometers south of New Delhi, Christians, Hindus and Muslims organized a hunger strike and formed a human chain.

END

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4 Responses to “INDIA Christians, Others Demand Ban On Hindu Extremist Groups As Anti-Christian Violence Spreads”

  1. Dan Thomas said

    Indian Hindus accuse Christians of using money from USA to convert Hindus in India. What they conveniently forget is that Hindus in India are getting thousand fold from Hindus in USA. What we Christians in USA should do is enact legislation in US barring Hindus organizations from transfering money to India unless attacks on Indian Christians stop. US shoudl not allow any other religion in US except christians. Why should Hindus have all the freedom in US when Christians have no freedom in India? Why would muslims have all the freedom in US whne Christians have no freedom in Muslim countries. This is totally unacceptable. We should do tit for tat.

  2. R.Sajan said

    Money from abroad to Hindus in India is a recent development. Christianity however, has developed all over the world only through proselytization by missionaries carrying the White Man’s Burden through the centuries. We also have the experience of benign extremes like the Goan Inquisition. Indigenous cultures all over the world were destroyed only by Christian missionaries and colony-makers from the West.

    Money to Christian and Moslem organisations in India comes from non-Indians abroad. Money to Hindu organisations comes from Indians abroad. This is a significant aspect of the issue.

    I agree with Dan Thomas that such Indians must not send money to their religious organisations back home. In fact, nobody should be permitted to send money home from the USA at all, whether to spread religions or not. US money should remain in the US itself. Similarly, no American corporate should deport any money home from anywhere else in the world. Countries in the third world should legislate that American corporates must keep monies generated in a country in that country itself; and not take it home

    However, we see that America is not a Christian country. It is a place run by the Jews who occupy 70% of all the important positions in all areas of US life. Perhaps, Jews and not Christians should put their feet down about anyone’s sending money out of the USA. The money actually belongs to them (the Jews.

  3. Sam Naik said

    Dear Fellow Believers,
    The persecution to Christians in Orissa is severe and VHP is responsible.
    Therefore India Govt should Ban the VHP and its aliens as soon as early.
    Controversial leaders like Pravin or Ashok Singhal should come to the state
    for burning Orissa.

    Sam

  4. Partha Dash said

    why to close school and college when Christian dies .. why Hindus are not ur brother and sisters … when a hindu die in Delhi or Mumbai bomb balst ur so call great missionaries school dose not close there buisness … why they dont give free education to a poor hindu child …. why so double standard …

    I am from Orissa .. and i know the state of tribals in Orissa than any other F c k in this world .. We the ppl of orissa are peace loving ppl, with so much poverty and social problem we never raised our voice …. now when we are reacting then ppl have got problem ….. After converting so many tribals to Christianity, still there state is same poor, uneducated, socialy backward…. noting has change. Now we hindu have got money have got a political party who support us and now getting organised to counter ur evil missionaries and there desire …..

    This will continue till we re convert ever Christian in orissa to hinduism… This is Hindustan not British raj India

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