India Hindu Militants Attack House Church

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

By BosNewsLife Asia Service

NEW DELHI, INDIA (BosNewsLife)-- Hindu militants have attacked a house church in the Indian state of Rajasthan, seriously injuring several worshippers, the latest in reported attacks against Christians across India, local believers told BosNewsLife Tuesday, January 8.

An angry Hindu mob fighting for the spread of Hinduism in India interrupted a prayer meeting late Sunday, January 6, at the house church in Kharbar district of Rajasthan's Udaipur city, church members said.

Some three Christian families attended the meeting when "Hindu extremists surrounded the house and then barged inside the room," witnesses said. The militants allegedly started "beating" people in prayer. "Several people received serious injuries," while the house owner, identified only as Naru, "was tied down in a room and physically assaulted," Christians said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Local Christians said they are trying to contact local police officials in the area and to send a report to the State Minority Commission. The latest incident comes after several attacks against Christians in recent weeks, including in India's eastern state of Orissa where up to nine Christians were killed in clashes with Hindu extremists since Christmas eve, according to church estimates.


Christians in Orissa told BosNewsLife that the area of previous fighting remains tense despite curfews in and stepped up patrols by security forces.

In an independent white paper, obtained by BosNewsLife, a fact-finding team accused authorities of not having done enough to prevent the "pre-planned" anti-Christian violence in Orissa.

"It is beyond doubt that the violence was premeditated, pre-planned and the work of a well disciplined group to ensure simultaneous eruption [of violence] across the Kandhamala district within hours of the first incident," said the team, led by John Dayal, of India's National Integration Council, which advises the Indian government.

The attacks were possible "to sustain for five days despite the presence of the highest police officers in the region," the team added, citing its own investigation."


The investigators said attackers included "upper caste" Hindus, who it claimed came from other districts of Orissa and other states, "though some youth of the suppressed communities had been persuaded to join the mobs."

It urged India's Central Bureau of Investigations to investigate the role of Hindu groups Rasthriya Swayam Sewak Sangh, Bajrang Dal, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, the Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram and related organizations for allegedly supporting the violence.

The groups are known to oppose the spread of Christianity and what they see as "forced conversions" in India. Christians comprise less than three percent of India's predominantly Hindu population of 1.1 billion people. (With BosNewsLife Correspondents reporting from the region).

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