India: Karanataka Boys Beaten, Arrested for Converting to Christ

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent

india mapMUMBAI, INDIA (Worthy News)-- Christians are regularly attacked in Karnataka by Hindu nationalists, while the authorities "turn a blind eye," according to Sajan K. George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians, concerning yet another case of abuse against so called forced conversions.

When Bhasker Naik, 20, and Hemanth Naik, 22, heard the sermons of Pastor Sadananda of the Church of Christ Fellowship, they eventually converted to Christianity. However, when the pair returned to their village, activists from Bajrang Dal -- an ultra-nationalist Hindu youth group -- began beating and insulting them, insisting they return to Hinduism. After Bhasker and Hemanth refused to deny Christ, the activists reported them to the Honnavar police for forced conversions; Inspector Venkatappa conducted a brief investigation, and then arrested them.

"From May 2008, when the BJP came to power in Karnataka," said George, "freedom of worship for the Christian community is under threat, even in private homes. Our places of worship are under constant control of fundamentalist forces, who systematically stop prayer services and beat pastors and faithful, while the police are increasingly available and hasty in arresting and imprisoning Christians. "