Christian Tourists Detained for Praising Christ

Monday, April 9, 2007

HYDERABAD, INDIA -- Global council of Indian Christians(GCIC) takes serious exceptions in the illegal detention of tourists by the Hyderabad police on the dictates of radical Hindus. The radicals have ganged up against the tourists as they came to know that the tourists are devout Christians.

This is time for the international community to address increased attacks against Christians, symbols and expression of faith by Christians in India .sadly the attacks is also on the increase against visiting Christians from abroad.

Religious speeches allegedly made by a group of American tourists during a visit to Palamuru Basti, a slum in Baghlingampally, sparked controversy with Hindu radicals accusing them of attempting religious conversions on Thursday.

The Chikkadpally police took the 25 foreigners, most of them women, into custody initially, but let them off saying they were not at fault. However, a case under Section 298 (uttering words hurting religious sentiments) of Indian Penal Code was registered against four
locals, including two pastors, who were guiding the foreigners in going around the city.

The foreigners flew to Hyderabad a couple of days ago.

The quartet took them to Venkateswara temple (Birla mandir) and other places of historical interest in the past two days. On Thursday, the foreigners were taken to the slum. After interacting with the local families, one of the tourists addressed the gathering on religious

On learning about this, radicals led by former MLA Prem Singh Rathore rushed to the spot and entered into an argument with the American tourists accusing them of persuading locals to convert to Christianity.

Later, they took the matter to the notice of police. Chikkadpally police station Inspector V.N.V. Satyanarayana said religious campaign by a foreigner possessing tourist visa was an offence. "Our inquiries revealed that these tourists had no such intention. Hence, we released
them," he said.

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