India Arrests Christian Evangelists After Hindu Attacks, rights group says

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Wednesday, 18 May 2005
By BosNewsLife News Center

AMSTERDAM/NEW DELHI (BosNewsLife)-- India has detained two man and a woman for distributing leaflets of the Bible Society of India (BSI), Christian human rights group Open Doors said Tuesday, May 17.

The three evangelists were detained May 4 and are awaiting their trial on charges of inciting religious hatred, reported Open Doors' headquarters in the Netherlands. "Under this legislation a release on bail is not possible," said the organization, which investigates the plight of persecuted Christians and churches around the world. More details on the place of the incident and the exact location of their prison were not immediately available, apparently because of security concerns.

Open Doors identified the Christians as Thangkhuma (33), Lalbhang Pui (25) en Babywan Lalopuri (19). "Before their arrest they were harassed by a group of fundamentalist Hindu's", it added in a news release obtained by BosNewsLife. "The Hindu's claimed the leaflets call for the slaughter of cows and bulls, which is forbidden for Hindu's."

However Open Doors said it is "unlikely" that the BSI distributes publications which calls for the slaughter of animals. "The Christian faith doesn't know the practice of the ritual slaughter of animals."

Human rights groups and churches have expressed concern about what they see as growing Hindu violence against Christians who make up about 2 percent of India's 1.1 billion-strong population. (BosNewsLife New Delhi Bureau Chief Vishal Arora contributed to this story).