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Pastor dragged, beaten by 150-strong mob while praying for sick

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In one of the eight attacks on Christians since the COVID-19 lockdown was partially lifted in India two weeks ago, a mob of about 150 people in the southern state of Telangana dragged a pastor into the street and beat him while he was praying for a sick person.

“They kicked me like they would kick a football,” Pastor Suresh Rao, a church planter, told the U.S.-based Christian persecution watchdog International Christian Concern about the attack on him in Kolonguda village last Sunday.

“They dragged me into the street and pushed me to the ground,” Rao added. “There, they started to trample on me. They tore my clothes, kicked me all over my body, and punched my left eye. I have sustained a serious eye injury as a result of a blood clot.”

Local Christians told ICC that Rao arrived at the sick person’s house around 9:30 a.m. for prayer. Soon after that, the house was surrounded by a mob of nearly 150 people led by a man identified as Ashok.

The attackers accused Rao of illegally converting Hindus to Christianity. “They said that India is a Hindu nation, and there is no place for Christians,” Rao explained. “I am prepared for this kind of eventuality. I know the cost of serving Jesus in these remote villages, and I will continue to serve the people of this region.”

ICC said it has recorded at least eight separate attacks on Christians in two weeks following the partial lifting of the nationwide coronavirus lockdown.

On June 11, a group of unidentified people burned down the building of an independent evangelical congregation of about 100 Christians, Real Peace Church, in Vaylur village in the southern state of Tamil Nadu.

“I was so distressed and pained in my heart,” Pastor Ramesh, the church’s head pastor, was quoted as saying. “It was hard labor for 10 years to build the church. All the hard work and sacrificial donations from the poor congregants were brought down to the ground. All that is left is ash.”

The Hindu nationalist government of the northern state of Haryana recently pledged to enact a law to regulate religious conversions that would lead to the arrest of Christians who share their faith, talk about Heaven or Hell, or perform charity work for lower caste Hindus.

The draconian “anti-conversion” laws, termed as Freedom of Religion Acts, presume that Christian workers “force” or give financial benefits to Hindus to convert them to Christianity.

While these laws have been in place for decades in some states, no Christian has been convicted of “forcibly” converting anyone to Christianity. However, these laws allow Hindu nationalist groups to make false charges against Christians and launch attacks on them under the pretext of the alleged forced conversion.

Attacks on the minority Christian community in India continued even during the COVID-19 lockdown.

In the east-central state of Chhattisgarh, villagers had banned Christians from burying their dead until they paid fines for not taking part in Hindu festivals and rituals.

The Christians were told to make “restitution” for not partaking in or giving donations for religious rituals in those villages for all the years gone by, and pay an additional fine before their dead would be allowed to be buried.

United Christian Forum in India, a Christian organization that advocates on behalf of Christians in India, documented 56 threats against Christians as well as 78 incidents of violence between January and March of 2020.

In most cases, the attacks were perpetrated by mobs objecting to Christians holding worship services.

India is ranked at No. 10 on Open Doors USA’s World Watch List of countries where it’s most difficult to be a Christian. The organization says that Christians in the country face “horrific” levels of violence from extremists, with thousands of attacks taking place every year.

Incidents targeting Indian Christians have risen steeply since 2014, when Narendra Modi of the Bharatiya Janata Party came to power, according to Open Doors, which noted that at least one Christian was attacked every day last year.
Sources: Christian Post

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ഇന്ത്യക്ക് അടിയന്തിര സഹായം നൽകണമെന്ന് അമേരിക്കൻ കോൺഗ്രസ്സ് പ്രതിനിധി രാജാ കൃഷ്ണമൂർത്തി ബൈഡനോട്

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വാഷിംഗ്ടണ്‍: ഇന്ത്യയിൽ കോവിഡ് (Covid19) വ്യാപനം അതിരൂക്ഷമായ സാഹചര്യത്തിൽ അടിയന്തിര സഹായം വര്‍ദ്ധിപ്പിക്കണമെന്ന് അമേരിക്കന്‍ കോണ്‍ഗ്രസ്സ് പ്രതിനിധി രാജാ കൃഷ്ണമൂര്‍ത്തി അമേരിക്കന്‍ പ്രസിഡന്റ് ജോ ബൈഡനെ കണ്ടു. വാക്സിൻ എത്തിക്കുന്നത്ത വേഗത്തിലാക്കുന്നത് സംബന്ധിച്ചാണ് കൃഷ്ണമൂർത്തി ബൈഡനെ കണ്ടത്.ബൈഡനോട് ഇന്ത്യയിലേക്ക് നല്‍കുന്ന വാക്സിന്‍ സഹായം വര്‍ദ്ധിപ്പിക്കണമെന്നാണ് ആവശ്യപ്പെട്ടിരിക്കുന്നതെന്ന് അദ്ദേഹം വ്യക്തമാക്കി. മൂർത്തിക്കൊപ്പം ജനപ്രതിനിധികളായ മലോനി, ക്ലിബേണ്‍, സ്റ്റീഫന്‍ ലിഞ്ച് എന്നിവരുമുണ്ടായിരുന്നു.

ഇതുവരെ അമേരിക്ക ഇന്ത്യയ്ക്ക് നല്‍കിയ എല്ലാ സഹായങ്ങളും കൂടിക്കാഴ്ചയില്‍ സംഘം വിലയിരുത്തി. രാജ്യത്തെ വൈറസ് ബാധയുടെ തീവ്രതയും ചര്‍ച്ച ചെയ്തു. ഇതുവരെ ഇന്ത്യക്ക് നൽകിയ സഹായങ്ങളെ അഭിനന്ദിക്കാനും അവർ മറന്നില്ല.
Sources:globalindiannews

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INS ship in Doha to transport oxygen cylinders to India

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Doha: The Indian naval vessel INS Kolkata arrived in Doha to carry medical equipment collected by Indian expatriates in Qatar to help the motherland in the fight against Kovid. The ship will carry 200 oxygen cylinders and 43 oxygen concentrators assembled under the auspices of the Indian Community Benevolent Forum to provide medical assistance for Kovid treatment in the wake of Kovid patients dying of suffocation in hospitals due to oxygen shortage in India. The Indian Embassy took to Twitter to thank the expatriate community in Qatar and the ICBF for their support in India’s fight against Kovid. INS Kolkata is one of the seven ships launched by the Central Government to transport medical equipment to India from various countries. Also Read: Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday announced the launch of Operation Samudra Sethu-2, a special mission to provide more oxygen to strengthen Kovid treatment. Under the scheme, ships INS Kolkata, INS Kochi, Tabar, Trikand, Jalashwa and Airavat will reach the ports of various countries that have offered assistance to India. As part of this, INS Talwar arrived in Manama, Bahrain and left for India with 40 metric tons of liquid medical oxygen. After collecting medical equipment from Qatar, the ship will move to Kuwait port. From here, the liquid oxygen tanks will be loaded and returned to India.

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