India Hindu Militants Attack Churches

Wednesday, December 7, 2005

Wednesday, December 7, 2005
By BosNewsLife News Center

NEW DELHI, INDIA (BosNewsLife)-- Two militant Hindu groups struck churches in India's Chattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh states and forced some believes to bow for Hindu idols states as violence against Christians spread across the country, news reports said Tuesday, December 6.

At least 25 members of the Hindu extremist group Dharma Sena attacked a church in Raipur, Chattisgarh state, "severely" beating five Christians Sunday, December 4, said Compass Direct, a Christian news agency. After beating Christians in the church, the attackers took four believers and a pastor from another congregation into a Hindu temple, where they tried to force them to bow down to idols, Compass Direct reported.

Also on Sunday, a group of 15 "extremists" from the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh group reportedly attacked a pastor in Jhabua district of the north-central state of Madhya Pradesh. Police declined to arrest the militant Hindus, but detained the pastor, Anil Mehra of Indian Evangelical Team, for over 10 on charges of "disrupting public peace," the news agency said

News of the latest attacks came just days after news emerged that that a group of young people attacked three Christians as they distributed Christian literature in the western state of Maharashtra on Saturday November 26.


Two of the three were injured and reportedly hospitalized. The attack took place in Panvel Taluka, near the state capital, Mumbai, news reports said.

The troubles began after a young man approached Christian worker Shaji Samuel, took a piece of literature and asked him why there was no mention of the 330 million Hindu gods in it, Compass Direct said, citing local sources. "Enraged", the young man and 30 other people allegedly started beating him.

"It’s a miracle that we are alive today," Samuel was quoted as saying. “We were beaten up very badly.” The area was reportedly still tense as the attackers have been seen putting up posters on area walls warning Hindus of conversions.


Meanwhile in Manjeri, a predominantly Muslim town in south India, Rev. Alavi of independent Lutheran church, New Hope India Mission, fears for his life. Since becoming a Christian at age 21, he endured various attempts on his life, "because of his ministry among Muslims," Compass Direct said. He allegedly received "numerous death threats" by phone or by letters and has been attacked in Muslim speeches, newsletters and newspapers.

Islamic groups launched 11 court cases against him and recently a gunman shot at his house and the pastor noticed two men stalking him, Compass Direct said. Despite the opposition, Rev. Alavi, 53, said he would "continue to receive hundreds of Muslims coming to his home to inquire about Jesus."

Human rights groups and church advocacy organizations have urged the central government to do more to protect Christians and what they see as growing religious violence against India's Christian minority. (With reports from India)

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