Bishops distressed over sex attack on Catholic nun

Bishops distressed over sex attack on Catholic nun

New Delhi, June 22, 2015: The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India has condemned the sexual assault on a Catholic nun in a mission center in Raipur and sought adequate security for Christians in social service.

The bishops are “deeply distressed to learn of the sad news” of attack on a 47-year old nun belonging to the Salesian Missionaries of Mary Immaculate, said Conference secretary general Bishop Albert D’Souza.

The nun, a qualified nurse, was in the Nursing Home together with two other girls. She was found early morning, gagged and tied to the bed after being brutally attacked and molested, the bishop’s statement said.

Reports quoting police said two masked men entered the nun’s room Friday night in search of cash and valuables and assaulted her after they failed to find their booty.

The nun lived with three aides at the infirmary and provided primary treatment to children and those who suffer minor injuries.

The survivor was initially taken to Government Ambedkar Hospital attached to Medical College, but she shifted to district hospital after media followed the survivor.

It said the CBCI “views these attacks on the nuns very seriously” and urges the federal and state governments “to act speedily to book the culprits involved in this heinous crime.”

It also wanted the government to “provide adequate security and protection to the Christian Missionaries whose selfless service to the poor has been widely acclaimed by the Indian public in general.”

“Such incidents of violence on minorities and especially women, tarnishes the image of our country in the international community, besides posing serious questions as to how far the minorities are safe and secure today in India,” the statement said.

– press release

Nun Gangraped by two in Missionary Hospital

Chhattisgarh, June 20, 2015: A nun working as a nurse in missionary run hospital was gang raped while she was alone at the night by two unidentified men.

The hospital comes between Vidhansabha and Pandari Police Station. But as per police jurisdiction the concerned area fall under Pandari- Police Station limits.

The incident took place on Friday night as the two men entered in her room and sexually assaulted her. The victim stated that both the men tied her hands and feet and then raped her.

The nun was admitted in government hospital for treatment and tests.

SP Rural Bhatt said, the primae facie of the crime scene gives an impression that the assailant burgled the nurse room in order to depict theft but when they found her alone assaulted her. The incident came to light when the lady came back to senses and police recorded her official statement.

The minority interest groups visualized the attack as an attack on their religion and expressed it as total failure of State Government in maintaining of law and order of the state.

Social Activist Goldy George said, this is not single attack on people belonging to Minority Class, a conspiracy is going in the country to miff the voice of people belonging to minority class. We condemn these types of activities and demand immediate arrest of culprits in the case, added the activist.

People of Christian fraternity planned to take out candle march protest on Saturday evening at Jaistambh Chowk.

Leader of Opposition of Congress Party, condemned the attack and said under the rule of Raman Singh government situation of law and order of state is deteriorating day by day, women and ladies are unsafe.

Former CM Ajit Jogi condemned State Administration and demanded immediate arrest of the culprits.

Islamic State fighters release elderly Christian hostage in north-eastern Syria but intense fighting displaces Christians in Aleppo

Islamic State fighters release elderly Christian hostage in north-eastern Syria but intense fighting displaces Christians in Aleppo

Syria, 25 June, 2015: Four months after he was taken captive by Islamic State (IS) fighters in north-eastern Syria, 70-year-old Francois Sawa was safely released on 16 June and is in good health. In Aleppo, Syria’s largest city, Christian families are fleeing their homes after horrific fighting killed at least ten people, most of them children, and injured a further 150 on 15 June.

Just a few days later, two Armenian Christian men were also tragically killed in a mortar explosion in Aleppo on 20 June. One of the men who died was a visiting pastor from Armenia who had arrived only two days earlier. “All our congregation members are in agony,” said Dr Jany Haddad, Barnabas Fund’s partner on the ground in Syria, as he relayed the news.

With fighting coming from four fronts, thousands of Christians have fled the city in terror. Local Christians told Barnabas that there are now between 45,000 and 90,000 Christians living in Aleppo, down from an estimated 465,000 in 2010. At least 30 people were killed and many others injured only in the last week in Aleppo with bombing and shelling occurring almost daily. The situation across Syria is one of extreme concern; IS forces have again attacked parts of the north-eastern city of Hassake as well as the northern city of Kobane on Thursday (25 June).

The release of Francois Sawa puts the number of those still being held at 227. One of 253 Christians abducted in IS raids against the mainly Christian villages that are clustered around the Khabur river, Francois Sawa was taken from his home village of Tel Shamiram on 23 February. Little has been heard about the situation of the Christians who remain hostage to IS. Twenty-three of the captives were released at the beginning of March and two elderly women were freed on 25 May.

Despite the fact that IS militants have been forced out of the villages in the Khabur area, the area remains unsafe. Islamists have destroyed many of the homes and churches and some have been booby-trapped. Barnabas has been helping to care for 1,200 Christian families who were forced to flee their homes after IS raided the villages.

But the situation for Christians in Syria is extremely precarious. Kidnappings such as the ones that took place in the Khabur area villages have led many Christians to decide to leave their beloved country in search of safety abroad.

Barnabas Fund is working with the Polish government, the Polish charity Esther Foundation, and local Polish churches to rescue Syrian Christians in extreme danger. Through our Operation Safe Havens, we are flying them to Poland and paying for their basic needs for one year, while Polish churches welcome them, and help them to find accommodation and jobs.

http://www.persecutedchurch.info/2015/06/29/islamic-state-fighters-release-elderly-christian-hostage-in-north-eastern-syria-but-intense-fighting-displaces-christians-in-aleppo/

Pakistani Christian rescued from ‘bonded labour’ slavery

Pakistani Christian rescued from ‘bonded labour’ slavery

Pakistan, 25 June, 2015: The Organization for Legal Aid in Pakistan successfully petitioned at the end of May to have Mumtaz Masih recovered from unlawful detention by his Muslim employer, who had forced him into bonded labour.

Originally, Masih borrowed 200,000 Pakistani rupees (roughly £1,400) from a local Muslim in July 2013. In exchange, Masih had to take care of his farms and animals. As part of the agreement, Masih was required to remain on his employer’s property at all times except once a month when he would receive payment and could go home to visit his family. In July 2014 the employer stopped paying Masih, banned him from home visiting, and effectively turned him into a slave.

Masih’s wife, Alishba Bibi, became concerned about her husband’s absence and sought help. After a habeas corpus court case on 29 May, a court official was directed to find Masih, who was found on his master’s property in a locked room where he had been held for the last three days.

Although bonded labour is illegal in Pakistan, many poor Christians live and work in similar situations.

http://www.persecutedchurch.info/2015/06/29/pakistani-christian-rescued-from-%E2%80%98bonded-labour%E2%80%99-slavery/

Megachurch Pastor Joel Osteen: Muslims attend his Church & that his books sell a lot in Muslim countries

Megachurch Pastor Joel Osteen: Muslims attend his Church & that his books sell a lot in Muslim countries

exas, June 23, 2015: Evangelical Christian pastor Joel Osteen shared in an interview this week that “a whole group of probably about 50 Muslims” recently visited his nondenominational megachurch in Houston, Texas, and indicated that his inspirational messages on “how to live a great life” resonate with people “in Muslim countries.”

“I have Muslims that attend our church and my books sell a lot in Muslim countries as well,” Osteen said during an interview with Jeremy Hobson for the “Here and Now” radio program published online Monday.

Hobson had mentioned that he heard Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel express the opinion that Christianity and Judaism had not done “a good enough job keeping an open conversation with Muslims” in the U.S. He then asked Osteen if he has conversations with Muslims, which prompted the preacher to share that he “certainly” does.

“You know, I don’t know, I don’t get too deep in those kinds of things,” Osteen added, “but our ministry is about reaching out to everybody, and so you know, I do have those conversations.”

“I had a whole group of probably about 50 Muslims here at the service about two weeks ago, sitting right on the front row. They came, and we have good, good relationships. And I think part of our ministry is, our main theme is Jesus says love God with all your heart and love your neighbor as you love yourself. And I don’t try to put people in a box — OK, they’re Jewish or they’re Catholic, they’re this or they’re that. I just say, ‘you know what, they’re somebody that God’s put in our path for us to love,’ and that’s our philosophy,” he added.

Osteen also touched on immigration, the End Times and the intersection of politics and religion in his interview with ‘Here and Now,” which you can listen to in the audio player below:

Osteen previously has shared that his messages are not only attractive to Muslims, but to atheists as well.

In a 2014 “Larry King Now” interview, King asked the megachurch pastor, also known for his megawatt smile: “Why would an atheist be a fan?”

“I think what they like, Larry, the principles that we teach is from the Scripture but they can help anybody you know, to reach dreams or to forgive or to have a good self-image,” Osteen said. “I know that I’m not a traditional pastor in terms of I’m just going down teaching scripture by scripture, because a lot of what I would teach is just how to live a great life.”

Another view on why Osteen might be so popular with those outside of his conservative Christian faith was recently presented in an opinion essay published in the Jewish Journal.

“He does not proselytize in a loud, Bible-thumping sort of manner. Instead, with a calming, reassuring voice, he delivers words of faith, hope and optimism based on a biblical foundation,” wrote the author, who identified as “Jewish, and intend to remain Jewish.”

The writer added: “… I have to admit that there were times when I felt that pastor Osteen had put his finger on the pulse of my current challenges, and offered comments that gave me some degree of immediate solace.”

Osteen’s messages and sermons are not a hit with everyone, particularly other conservative Christians. Critics have for years claimed that Osteen’s messages are too focused on positive thinking and personal prosperity, and light on sin and repentance. The Texas pastor, whose popular inspirational and self-help books include Your Best Life Now, You Can, You Will, Every Day a Friday, and Become a Better You, has responded on more than one occasion to such criticism.

“There’s enough pushing people down in life already. When they come to my church, or our meetings, I want them to be lifted up. I want them to know that God’s good, that they can move forward, that they can break an addiction, that they can become who God’s created them to be,” Osteen said in one television interview.

Osteen welcomes about 52,000 worshippers weekly to Lakewood Church, according to a press release from his ministry. The church also says that it is “one of the nation’s most racially and socioeconomically diverse” and that its pastor reaches millions of people through his television program that airs in more than 100 different countries.

http://www.persecutedchurch.info/2015/06/29/megachurch-pastor-joel-osteen-muslims-attend-his-church-that-his-books-sell-a-lot-in-muslim-countries/

Why we must listen to Rohini Salian?

Why we must listen to Rohini Salian?

June 27, 2015: Rohini Salian is a legend in the world of public prosecutors. Every policeman knows her name. So do the lawyers and judges of the city of Mumbai. She is single-minded in her commitment to her duties and, above all, everyone knows that she cannot be bought.

Salian’s lament on being asked to go soft on Hindu extremists accused of terrorist acts frightens us to believe that the country is steadily being led on to the path trodden by our surly neighbour on our western border. The masterminds of the 26/11 attacks are treated like heroes in Pakistan.

We are not there yet, but if hidden hands nudge the judicial system to free murderers of the saffron variety, we will be soon.

A day before he was shot dead by Pakistani terrorists who had clandestinely sailed from Karachi to Mumbai, Hemant Karkare, an outstanding IPS officer of impeccable integrity as well as high intelligence and abilities, had come to meet me. He was disturbed by the reactions of some BJP leaders, particularly L.K. Advani, to the turn his investigations had taken in the 2008 Malegaon blast case.

The Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS), which he headed at that time, had initially suspected jihadi fanatics. Such thoughts would come naturally to any policeman those days as Muslim groupings like Simi had been responsible for several terrorist acts across the country.

But, the ATS had suddenly, unexpectedly and, I must add, fortuitously come across incontrovertible evidence, which included taped conversations, to prove that the Malegaon blasts, as well as the Ajmer, Hyderabad and Samjhauta Express blasts that killed nearly a hundred people, were conceived, planned and executed by a group of fanatical Hindus bent on revenge. It is the duty of law enforcers to seek the real offenders and ensure that they are dealt with by the law of the land. Politics, religion, caste, community have no role to play in the pursuit of truth and justice. It is true that such lofty ideals are often forgotten but fortunately there are still police officers who act according to their conscience and the Constitution. Hemant Karkare was one such officer.

I went through some of the evidence he had gathered. I was staggered. I could understand the anger that prompted the perpetrators to embark on their misconceived journey. But a police officer has to do his duty, which is to stick to the truth and the letter of the law. I advised Karkare to abide by his “dharma”. I offered to speak to Advani if required. I was sure that Advani would appreciate the fact that Karkare was doing what any true gentleman and patriot would be expected to do.

Unfortunately, Ajmal Kasab and his brainwashed companions snuffed out the life of a good man. Karkare was not around to pursue the case but his successors carried on the investigations and filed the chargesheet against the real culprits in court.

Salian is one public prosecutor who can be equated to Karkare, albeit in a parallel arm of the judicial process. As Karkare was to probity in investigations, Rohini is to probity in prosecution. She sticks to the truth and to her duty. In her, the powerful people who want to scuttle the case for ideological reasons have caught a Tartar.

Hemant had approached Salian because he knew that she was not a person who could be influenced by money or any other inducement. And she was competent. It is this same Rohini Salian whom the powers that be now want to remove from the case because she is not willing to budge from the path of duty and truth. Shame on those who are attempting to interfere in the course of justice. They do not realise the damage they do to the rule of law, to which, incidentally, they pay lip service.

What is worse is that by their covert attempts to get the culprits off the hook, they are encouraging jihadists to strike again, something they are already good at. Another negative fallout will be the licence it will give to evil-minded investigators and prosecutors, both of whom are proliferating in ever-increasing numbers, to revel in injustice and corruption. And then, there is the ultimate price we will pay: losing the moral right to condemn Pakistan when it protects men like Hafiz Saeed and Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, the masterminds of the 26/11 attacks on Mumbai.

Mr. Julio Ribeiro Our leaders need to think of these consequences before they covertly try to sabotage the course of justice. They should desist from making our great country in the image of our neighbour. And finally, they should respect the memory of that fallen martyr, Hemant Karkare, instead of cocking a snook at his noble efforts to bring the true offenders to book.

* The writer, a retired IPS officer, was Mumbai police commissioner, DGP Gujarat and DGP Punjab

Dalit Christians file complaint with UN against the Vatican

Dalit Christians file complaint with UN against the Vatican

New Delhi, June 30, 2015: Christian Dalits in India filed a complaint on Tuesday with the United Nations accusing the Holy See of not doing enough to curb discrimination faced by “untouchables” within the Catholic Church.

A delegation of 22 people from the Dalit Christian Liberation Movement (DCLM) and Viduthalai Tamil Puligal Katchi (a collective of human rights activists) submitted the complaint at the UN Information Centre for India and Bhutan in Delhi.

“We have submitted seven copies of the complaint to Rajeev Chandran, assistant director of the UN Centre in New Delhi addressed to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and different human rights organizations,” Mary John, president of the DCLM, told ucan.

The complaint accuses the Vatican and the Indian Catholic Church leadership of caste-based discrimination “by way of allowing it directly and indirectly in their spiritual, educational and administrative places”.

The delegation asked the UN and other organizations to urge the Holy See to eradicate the caste discriminatory practices and to withdraw the Permanent Observer position of the Holy See in the UN if the Vatican does not take the necessary steps.

Dalits, or untouchables, are the lowest caste within Hindu society. Huge numbers of Dalits have converted to Christianity and Islam over the decades, though in reality the religions offer limited protection from societal prejudice.

“The discrimination against Dalit Christians in the Catholic Church is a human rights issue and it would be right if we approach the UN to find a solution to it,” John said.

Kudanthai Arasan, president of the Viduthalai Tamil Puligal Katchi, said Dalit Christians routinely face discrimination in their daily life.

“There are separate cemeteries for Dalit Christians. Even in the church there are separate seating arrangements for those from the Dalit community and others. The festival choir processions do not enter the streets where Dalit Christians live,” he said, adding that in some churches even the dead body of a Dalit Christian is not allowed inside for funeral Mass.

While Dalit Christians form 70 percent of the total Catholic population in India, said John, their representation in the Church leadership is only 4-5 percent.

He added that Dalits are not recruited for the priesthood and are rarely permitted to be appointed as bishops.

Out of about 200 active bishops in India, only nine are from the Dalit community.

“We have raised our voice time and again to end this practice in the Indian Church, but our pleas have been falling on deaf ears,” he added.

The Dalit Christians also blamed the top bishops’ body in India — the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) — for not pursuing the issue with the Holy See.

“They do not take our case seriously to the Vatican. The CBCI has come out with declarations terming caste-ism as sin but they themselves are practicing it,” John said.

However, Fr Joseph Chinnayyan, CBCI deputy secretary general, told ucan that the organization has never received any complaint of discrimination against Dalits in the Catholic Church in the past.

He said that as far as the Dalit Christians’ complaint about the issue to the UN is concerned, “we are not aware of any such complaint and will only respond once we receive any communication about it”.

Ask God for a repeat performance

Ask God for a repeat performance

There is no problem that is too big or too small for you to pray about.
Chronicles 20:5-6 says, “King Jehoshaphat went and stood before them and prayed aloud.”
That’s a good thing to do!

It’s important when the odds are stacked against you to pray a certain way that is different from the way you normally pray.

Jehoshaphat gives us a model of the three things you need to pray when you feel overwhelmed.

1. Remind yourself who God is.

Bigger God“O Lord God of our ancestors, you rule in heaven over all the nations of the world.
You are powerful and mighty, and no one can oppose you” (2 Chronicles 20:6).

Before you talk to God about the problem and focus on it,
remind yourself that God is bigger than the problem you are facing.

King Jehoshaphat realizes that three enemy nations are coming at him,
yet he stops and says, “You’re bigger than all the nations, God.
You are bigger than anything I will ever face.”

2. Remind yourself of what he has done in the past.
Count your blessingsThink of the times when God has helped you and the miracles he’s already done in your life.

“When your people Israel moved into this land,
you drove out the people who were living here and gave the land to the descendants of Israel,
your friend, to be theirs forever” (2 Chronicles 20:6).

Jehoshaphat recalled all the ways God had worked in Israel’s past.

3. Ask God for help now.
HelpHow about a repeat performance, Lord?
Do it again! In verse 9, Jehoshaphat mentions three kinds of situations: war, epidemic, and famine.
He says, “None of this is too hard for you.
You’ve helped us in the past, so do it again!”

His prayer is built around three questions:

Are you not?

Did you not?

Will you not?

“Are you not God?” Yes, you are in charge, and you’re big enough to handle it.

“Did you not help us in the past?” Yes, you did help us in the past.

“Will you not do it again?” Yes, you will do it again!

That’s the way you need to pray when you’re overwhelmed.

No matter what the situation is, remind yourself first who God is, what he’s done, and then ask him to do it again.

Once you’ve done that, you’re ready to talk about your problem.

http://www.persecutedchurch.info/2015/07/03/ask-god-for-a-repeat-performance/

Persecution of Vietnamese Christian montagnards is “state policy”, says human rights watch

Persecution of Vietnamese Christian montagnards is “state policy”, says human rights watch

Vietnam, June 06, 2015: “Vietnam’s official media made it shockingly clear that persecution of religious minorities is state policy,” said Human Rights Watch’s (HRW) Asia director, Brad Adams, after the advocacy group released a report on Friday (26 June). Compiling interviews with Vietnamese ethnic Montagnards seeking asylum abroad, the report reveals the government’s deliberate actions to persecute the ethnic minority because of their desire to follow Christianity.

“I was hit everywhere; they even used electricity to shock me,” said one of the Christian Montagnards interviewed by HRW. “The police hit me with their hands on both sides of the face… The police told me if I continued going to church, then the police would continue arresting me.” Labelled an “evil way” religion by communist Vietnam, these followers of Christianity are the victims of constant surveillance, intimidation, arbitrary arrest and abuse under detention.

According to HRW, an official media report released in January said that the Vietnamese authorities had organised a campaign to “deal seriously with their leaders and core members”. And in the same month, General Tran Dai Quang, a government minister in the Central Highlands (where most Montagnards reside), called on security forces to “actively fight” followers of unauthorised Christianity.

The threat to Montagnard Christians in the Central Highlands of Vietnam is causing many to flee into neighbouring Cambodia and Thailand, where they seek a place to worship Christ in freedom, a reality that even the Vietnamese officials recognise.

Reaching Cambodia, however, they are deported back into Vietnam despite the fact that this goes against the 1951 UN Refugee Convention of which Cambodia is a signatory country. According to the report, over the past year Cambodia had sent back at least 54 Montagnards “without allowing any opportunity to seek refugee status, and had denied at least another 109 the possibility of registering there as asylum seekers”.

In Thailand, a press conference that was due to coincide with the launch of the report on 26 June was cancelled just minutes before it was set to begin. The decision to stop the conference was said to have been to protect diplomatic ties between Thailand and Vietnam. HRW, however, is concerned that Vietnamese authorities may have requested Thai officials to intervene in an attempt to prevent the issue from ever being heard.

But this recent campaign against the Montagnards is sadly nothing new. In 2001, hundreds of ethnic Montagnards fled across the border into Cambodia after a government crackdown led to numerous arrests of Montagnards demanding greater religious freedom and the return of their lands which had been seized by the authorities.

Ethnic Montagnards are an originally animist people group who began converting to Christianity in the 1950s and 1960s. In the 1990s, house churches mushroomed and today they are a predominantly Christian ethnic group. In addition to being persecuted for their Christian faith, Montagnards also believe they are targeted because of their allegiance to the U.S. in the Vietnam War. “The war is over but they still punish us because we fought alongside the Americans,” said Rong Nay, head of the Montagnard Human Rights Organisation (MHRO). “Until today,” he said, “they accuse the Montagnards of [attempting to] overthrowing the government of Vietnam… How can we overthrow it? We have empty hands.”

http://www.persecutedchurch.info/2015/07/03/persecution-of-vietnamese-christian-montagnards-is-%E2%80%9Cstate-policy%E2%80%9D-says-human-rights-watch/

Hindu radicals threaten to ‘burn’ Indian pastor alive, wipe congregation from town following church attack

Hindu radicals threaten to ‘burn’ Indian pastor alive, wipe congregation from town following church attack

Kerala, June 30, 2015: Following a mid-June attack on a Christian church in the Indian town of Attingal in Kerala state, Hindu radicals have threatened to wipe out a Christian congregation and burn the church’s pastor if they continue to worship and pray in there.

According to International Christian Concern, a U.S.-based Christian persecution monitoring organization, a mob of 200 angry Hindus surrounded the Reaching the World with Love Ministries Church in Attingal on June 14, while about 400 congregants were in the middle of their Sunday worship service.

As the large mob shouted loud Hindu chants, including “Bharat Mathaki” [Hail Mother India], the congregation’s pastor, known by the name Shiju, told ICC that 30 Hindus broke into the worship hall, charged at him while he was preaching and began beating him down and caused him internal injuries.

“I was literally terrified. I did not know what was going on, as a mob of 30 people advanced toward me while I was preaching the message,” Shiju explained. “They hit me in the face and then kicked me all over the body. They first targeted me and then the congregation. I had to flee and ran away from the church, as I could make out that I was their prime target.”

The attacks and threats on churches and Christians, like the altercation in Attingal, have become increasingly common throughout India since the election of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in May of 2014, ICC’s Regional Manager for South Asia, William Stark, told The Christian Post.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first year in power has marked a very difficult year for Christians in India,” Stark wrote in an email. “The anti-Christian and anti-minority activities of radical Hindu nationalist groups across India has seen a dramatic escalation.”

Stark added that although it is uncertain whether the election of Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance has encouraged the increase in Hindu persecution of Christians, radical Hindus have benefited from little to no government punishment for their actions.

“The culture of impunity these radicals enjoy under the current government has only encouraged more intolerance and violence,” Stark asserted. “To put things in perspective, it took nine months and two public admonishments from President Obama to get Prime Minister Modi to even speak out on the issue of growing religious intolerance in his country.”

An ICC report states that after turning their attention away from pastor Shiju, the Hindus then attacked members of the congregation.

One 40-year-old woman named Girija suffered a broken finger, as one Hindu tried to bash her head in with his motorcycle helmet. Fortunately, she was able to escape without suffering any other major injuries.

Although the congregants attempted to flee from the violence, there was still a large crowd of Hindu radicals waiting for them outside the church. One of the church members was able to escape and went to the nearby police station to report the attack. However, it took over 30 minutes for the police department to respond.

After the congregants fled from the building, radicals desecrated the church by destroying the pulpit, technical equipment and a table displaying communion elements for worship.

In the wake of the attack, the Christians in the town organized a protest to condemn the attack, which was attended by over 500 the area’s Christians and some local legislatures in a show of solidarity for the suffering ministry.

Amid the the Christians’ protest, a group called the Hindu United Front staged a counterprotest where they threatenethe church with “dire consequences” if they dared meet again for worship, according to an eyewitness.

“The Hindu radicals are gathering almost every day since the attack in Attingal took place. The slogans on the placards that read ‘wiping Christians away from the town’ was a huge threat to the Christians of the area,” the witness explained. “The Hindu radicals vowed to burn pastor Shiju if he continued the church in Attingal.”

With Kerala state having a 40 percent Christian population, the fact that Hindu-incited persecution is rising in places with such large religious minority populations is alarming, Stark contended.

“Under previous governments, most anti-Christian violence happened in India’s rural areas. Now, we are seeing more incidents spread to India’s major cities, even the capital New Delhi,” Stark told CP.

“Over the past year, we have noticed most attacks on Christians have taken place in Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, and Telangana. That is not to say that persecution is limited to these states, as this most recent attack on a church in Kerala shows. Unfortunately, it looks like Christian persecution in India is spreading. Even to places where Christians represent a significant portion of the population, such as Kerala.”

In recent months, suspected Hindu activists have raped two Catholic nuns — one being 71 years old. The most recent occurred on June 21 in the town of Raipur, in what Christian community leaders have labeled an on-going “anti-Christian hate campaign.”

http://www.persecutedchurch.info/2015/07/03/hindu-radicals-threaten-to-burn-indian-pastor-alive-wipe-congregation-from-town-following-church-attack/

Raipur: Protest intensifies against nun rape

Raipur: Protest intensifies against nun rape

Raipur, July 1, 2015: Protests seeking to arrest those who raped a Catholic nun Raipur has intensified across the state with Christians closing down all their school in Chhattisgarh today.

Protesters under under Sanyukt Sangarsh Samiti supported by CPI(M) said that all education institutions will be kept shut on July 1 and that they would call for state bandh on July 8 following continuous protests across state.

Police is yet to arrest anyone for the June 19 sexual assault on the nun in her bed room in a small medical facility in Raipur.

Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Dharamraj Mahapatra told media in a briefingon Monday that attitude of state government and police has been extremely disappointing.

“After closure of schools on July 1, we would call for state-wide massive protest on July 4in each district. On July 13, the committee will call for state/ capital bandh if the accused aren’t arrested,” the committee member said.

Condemning the incident of rape, Sanyunkt Sangharsh Samiti was formed on June 24 by nearly 45 social organizations for justice for nun. In joint associations of All India Women Democratic Association, Communist Party of India (Marxist), Student Federation of India, Insurance Union of Working Women, Raipur division, Democratic Youth Federation Of India, state Christian Forum, United Trade Union Council of Raipur, Nadi Ghati Morcha, and advocates, people have come together to protest against atrocities on nuns and women.

“We have come to know that police were acting lenient in the case and their investigation as the spot of crime hasn’t been sealed yet, nor survivor’s belongings, which could give them clues, were seized by the police. Neither there is any record being maintained by the police of the materials seized nor the medical tests which was done on June 20 soon after the incident was conducted by expert doctors,” Mahapatra said.

“All religious places should be provided with security personnel to prevent untoward incidents and maintain a fearless atmosphere in city,” he added.

Talking to TOI, Raipur SP BN Mina said that more than 200 people under have been interrogated and the case was under investigation. “One forensic report will be out byTuesday. Another team had gone to the spot on Monday for more findings. We can’t act lenient in the case due to its seriousness.”

http://www.persecutedchurch.info/2015/07/03/raipur-protest-intensifies-against-nun-rape/