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Christian Gatherings Monitored by Police in India After False Forced Conversion Allegations



India– According to the Union of Catholic Asian News (UCAN), police in India’s Uttar Pradesh state have been ordered to monitor Christian prayer gatherings after five Christians were falsely accused of violating the state’s anti-conversion law by radical Hindu nationalists.

According to UCAN, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), a hardline Hindu nationalist group, recently handed five Christians over to police in Shahjahanpur District for allegedly violating the state’s anti-conversion law.

“It is just an allegation from the fanatic groups,” Father Harold D’Cunha, Vicar General of the Bareilly Diocese, told UCAN. “If they are sure about it, let them prove it. Occasionally, these groups blame us for conversions, but until now there is no record of any religious conversion were the church is involved.”

UCAN reports that S. Anand, the Superintendent of Shahjahanpur Police, told the Press Trust of India that after the alleged religious conversion activities, officers have been asked to keep a watch on Christian religious gatherings.

On November 28, the Uttar Pradesh State Cabinet, presided over by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), approved a draft ordinance intended to curb forcible or dishonest religious conversions. With the Uttar Pradesh State Legislature out of session, the constitution gives the governor of a state power to promulgate an ordinance which has the same effect as a law passed by the legislature.

According to the text of the ordinance, forceful religious conversions will be punished by a jail term of one to five years and a fine of 15,000 rupees (approximately $203.00). However, forceful religious conversions of minors, women, or members of low caste communities will be punished by jail term of three to ten years and a fine of 25,000 rupees (approximately $339.00).

Radical Hindu nationalists have used the specter of mass religious conversions to Christianity as justification to pass similar laws limiting religious freedom. According to these nationalists, Indian Christians are accused of converting poor Hindus to Christianity in mass by fraudulent means.

In states where similar anti-conversion laws are currently enacted, including Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Himachal Pradesh, and Uttrakhand, they are widely abused. Radical nationalists abuse these laws by falsely accusing Christians of forcefully converting individuals to Christianity to justify harassment and assault. Local police often overlook violence perpetrated against Christians due to the false accusation of forced conversions.

To date, no individual has been convicted of forced conversions in India. This is in spite of the fact that some of the anti-conversion laws have been on the books since 1967.


Three Indian Christians Hospitalized After Attack on Birthday Party



India – Three Christians, including two pastors, were hospitalized following a brutal attack by Bajrang Dal activists in southern India. The extremists attacked after the Christians gathered to celebrate the birthday of a pastor’s son.

On March 1, a mob of 25 member of the Bajrang Dal attacked a gathering of Christians in Bilkondi village, located in India’s Karnataka state. The religious hardliners broke into the home of a Christian where the birthday celebration of Pastor Sadashiv Raju’s son was taking place.

According to the victims, the Bajrang Dal activists locked the door of the house from the inside to make sure no one could escape. The extremists then physically attacked the Christians.

“I tried to defend myself as six people constantly threw punches all over my body,” Pastor Raju told International Christian Concern (ICC). “They beat my wife as she tried to rescue me from the hands of the thugs. She was badly injured and was traumatized. She has shifted to her parents’ house to keep away from what has been going on after the incident.”

Pastor Raju has been leading an Indian Pentecostal Church in Bilkondi village for the past 12 years. He reports that the Bajrang Dal activists falsely accused him of engaging in illegal religious conversions as a justification for the March 1 attack.

“I have never forced anybody to convert or change their religion,” Pastor Raju told ICC. “If people come to me with needs, I pray for them. Sometimes they are healed and they want to attend church.”

As a result of the attack, six Christians, including a blind man, were injured. Three of these Christians required hospitalization and were taken to a private hospital in Gokak town. The Bajrang Dal activists also damaged musical instruments, electrical equipment, a refrigerator, and a sofa.

The Christians filed a formal complaint with local police, however, no action has reportedly been initiative by police officers. In fact, the mob that attacked the birthday party went on to attack a second Christian gathering and beat up the pastor of an Assemblies of God Church.

“This was a cruel attack on Christians,” a local Christian told ICC. “There is complete lawlessness and the attackers are emboldened by the pro-Hindu government in the state. There is no protection for Christians and we are frightened to even celebrate a birthday with friends.”

The Karnataka state government is currently led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Recently, BJP leaders announced their intention to enact an anti-conversion law in Karnataka. Local Christians fear the enactment of this controversial law will only further embolden religious fanatics and lead to more attacks on Christians.

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മകൻ ദോഷമുണ്ടാക്കുമെന്ന് ജോത്സ്യൻ; അഞ്ചുവയസ്സുകാരനെ പിതാവ് തീകൊളുത്തി കൊന്നു



ചെന്നൈ:മകൻ കാരണം ദോഷമുണ്ടാകുമെന്ന ജോത്സ്യന്റെ വാക്കുകേട്ട് തഞ്ചാവൂരിൽ പിതാവ് മണ്ണെണ്ണയൊഴിച്ച് തീകൊളുത്തിയ അഞ്ചുവയസ്സുകാരൻ മരിച്ചു. തഞ്ചാവൂർ ജില്ലയിലെ തിരുവാരൂർ നന്നിലം സ്വദേശി രാംകി (29)യുടെ മകൻ സായ് ശരണാണ് മരിച്ചത്. സംഭവത്തിൽ ഓട്ടോ ഡ്രൈവറായ രാംകിയെ പോലീസ് അറസ്റ്റുചെയ്തു.

ആറുവർഷംമുമ്പ് വിവാഹിതനായ ഇയാൾക്ക് രണ്ട് ആൺമക്കളാണ്. ജ്യോതിഷത്തിൽ വിശ്വസിച്ചിരുന്ന രാംകി പതിവായി ജോത്സ്യരെ കണ്ടിരുന്നു. മൂത്തമകനായ സായ് ശരണിനാൽ രാംകിക്ക് ദോഷമുണ്ടായേക്കുമെന്ന് കഴിഞ്ഞയിടെ ഒരു ജോത്സ്യൻ ഗണിച്ചുപറഞ്ഞതായാണ് വിവരം. ഇതേത്തുടർന്ന് പലപ്പോഴായി രാംകി മകനെ ഉപദ്രവിച്ചിരുന്നു. അതേച്ചൊല്ലി ഭാര്യ ഗായത്രിക്കും രാംകിക്കുമിടയിൽ കലഹം പതിവായിരുന്നു. അഞ്ചുദിവസംമുമ്പ് വീണ്ടും വഴക്കുണ്ടായപ്പോൾ രാംകി വീട്ടിലുണ്ടായിരുന്ന മണ്ണെണ്ണയെടുത്ത് മകന്റെ ദേഹത്തൊഴിച്ച് തീകൊളുത്തുകയായിരുന്നു.

ഗുരുതരമായി പൊള്ളലേറ്റ സായ് ശരണിനെ ഗായത്രിയും അയൽക്കാരും ചേർന്ന് തഞ്ചാവൂർ ഗവ. മെഡിക്കൽ കോളേജ് ആശുപത്രിയിൽ പ്രവേശിപ്പിച്ചെങ്കിലും 90 ശതമാനം പൊള്ളലേറ്റ കുട്ടി തീവ്രപരിചരണവിഭാഗത്തിൽ ചികിത്സയിലിരിക്കെ മരിച്ചു. അറസ്റ്റിലായ രാംകിയെ ജുഡീഷ്യൽ കസ്റ്റഡിയിൽ മന്നാർഗുഡി ജയിലിലടച്ചു.

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