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Christian Community in India Left Devastated After Attack by Extremists

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On September 22, members of the Sarya Adivasi Samaj (SAM) group summoned 15 Christian families to a meeting in Kakadabeda village, located in the Kondagoan district of India’s Chhattisgarh state. At this meeting, the Christians were told they had to recant their faith or be forced to leave their homes.

When the Christians refused, the religious fanatics attacked.

“We have been tortured for almost three weeks,” Suraj Bhagel, a survivor of the September 22 attack, told International Christian Concern (ICC). Following the assault, SAM members demolished all the 15 Christian families’ homes. Fearing further violence, the Christians fled into the forest and took shelter in nearby villages.

“We returned to our village only to see the devastation,” Bhagel continued. “Rubble, broken utensils, scattered clothes, and broken cycles and motorbikes were all around us. Our situation is very pathetic. We are living in broken houses that are just roofless walls. We are also unheard and unattended by the authorities.”

According to Bhagel, the September 22 attack is the third attack on Kakadabeda’s Christian community in the last eight years. Historically, these attacks have been limited to physical assaults. However, the most recent episode has left Kakadabeda’s Christians homeless and stunned.

“My mind is not working properly,” Bhagel told ICC. “We often don’t have food to eat and cannot stay in our homes whenever there is rain. There has been no help from the police or the district administration. That has added to our fear of further attacks by religious fanatics.”

According to Bhagel, the September 22 attack in Kakadabeda was only the first of several similar incidents in Chhattisgarh.

“We are troubled by how things are unfolding,” Bhagel said. “Just two weeks after we were attacked, two Christians in Tiliyabeda village, only five kilometers away, were brutally attacked. Both of them were seriously injured and are in critical condition in the government hospital.”

Following the incident in Tiliyabeda, the local district administration issued an order banning all village meetings. The order prohibiting village meetings was issued on October 12 in direct response to the attacks on local Christians.

“This is a terrible and frightening experience,” Bhagel continued. “However, I want to thank God for His protection. Although this is a painful situation, I am encouraged in my spirit and will press on witnessing His name.”

Across India, attacks on Christians and their worship places continue to escalate in both number and severity. According to a report released by the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) India, at least 328 incidents of targeted violence against Christians were recorded in 2019. This number represents a significant increase in violence when compared to previous years. However, the 328 incidents recorded in ADF’s report only represent a portion of the violence that is being experienced by India’s Christian community. Most incidents go unreported due to fear of reprisal or lack of confidence in India’s justice system.
Sources:persecution

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പതിനാറ് രാജ്യങ്ങളിൽ ഇഫ്താർ വിതരണം നടത്താനൊരുങ്ങി സൗദി അറേബ്യ

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റിയാദ്: പതിനാറ് രാജ്യങ്ങളില്‍ ഇഫ്താര്‍ വിതരണം നടത്തുന്ന പദ്ധതിക്ക് തുടക്കം കുറിക്കാനൊരുങ്ങി സൗദി അറേബ്യ. കൊവിഡ് പ്രതിരോധ, മുന്‍കരുതല്‍ നടപടികള്‍ പാലിച്ച് സൗദി 16 രാജ്യങ്ങളില്‍ ഇഫ്താര്‍ വിതരണം നടത്തുമെന്ന് റിപ്പോര്‍ട്ട് ചെയ്തു.

വിവിധ പ്രദേശങ്ങളില്‍ നിന്നുള്ള അഭ്യര്‍ത്ഥനകള്‍ക്കനുസരിച്ച് അതത് രാജ്യങ്ങളിലെ സൗദി എംബസികളുമായും ഇസ്ലാമിക് മന്ത്രാലയ കേന്ദ്രങ്ങളുമായും ഏകോപിപ്പിച്ചാണ് വിതരണം നടത്തുക. ലോകമെമ്പാടമുള്ള മുസ്ലിംകളെ സേവിക്കുക എന്ന ലക്ഷ്യത്തോടെ ഇസ്ലാമികകാര്യ മന്ത്രാലയം നടപ്പിലാക്കാനുദ്ദേശിക്കുന്ന പദ്ധതിക്ക് എല്ലാ പിന്തുണയും നല്‍കുന്ന സല്‍മാന്‍ രാജാവിനും കിരീടാവകാശി അമീര്‍ മുഹമ്മദ് ബിന്‍ സല്‍മാനും ഇസ്ലാമികകാര്യ മന്ത്രി ഡോ. അബ്ദുല്ലത്തീഫ് അല്‍ അശൈഖ് നന്ദി അറിയിച്ചു. ഇഫ്താര്‍ വിഭവങ്ങള്‍ വിതരണം ചെയ്യുമ്പോള്‍ ഓരോ രാജ്യങ്ങളിലെയും ഗുണഭോക്താക്കളുടെയും വിതരണ തൊഴിലാളികളുടെയും സുരക്ഷ ഉറപ്പുവരുത്തുന്നതിനായി വേണ്ട കൊവിഡ് പ്രതിരോധ നടപടികള്‍ സ്വീകരിക്കുമെന്ന് മന്ത്രി വ്യക്തമാക്കി.

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Court in India Grants Bail to Men Accused of Harassing Nuns

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India – According to the Union of Catholic Asian News (UCAN), a court in India’s Uttar Pradesh state has granted bail to three Hindu activists accused of harassing two Catholic nuns and their students on a train.

On March 19, two nuns from the Congregation of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart were forcefully removed from a train in Jhansi by a mob of radical Hindu nationalists. The mob falsely accused the nuns of trafficking two young women for the purpose of converting them to Christianity.

Although the two women show identification proving they were already Christian, the mob continued to harass the nuns and handed them over to railway police. The nuns were then marched to the local police station as the mob followed chanting obscenities and nationalist slogans.

Local church leadership eventually engaged with police to resolve the issue. However, the four Christian women had to leave Jhansi the next day disguised in civilian clothes.

Railway police arrested Ajay Shankar Tiwari, Anchal Arjaria, and Purgesh Amaria on April 2 in connection with the incident. However, these three men were granted bail by the Jhansi District Court on April 7.

UCAN reports that the decision to grant bail has brought mix reactions from Christian leaders.

“We can’t see it as a setback for us as there is a provision for people getting bail according to the Indian constitution,” Archbishop Felix Machado of Vasai told UCAN. “We should believe in the law of the land. It might take some time, but I believe that one day the accused will be brought under the law.”

Across India, impunity is enjoyed by many perpetrators of religiously motivated violence. In many cases, the perpetrators of anti-Christian violence falsely accuse their victims of engaging in fraudulent religious conversions to justify their attacks. Unfortunately, local authorities often accept these justifications as legitimate and allow perpetrators to escape justice.
Sources:persecution

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