Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Christians Under Siege in Indian State

Christians Under Siege in Indian State

From the article...

Three days of violence against Christians in India have raised fears that the recent election victory of a Hindu hardliner in India's most-developed state may be prompting other activists to turn on non-Hindu minorities.

A curfew has been imposed in a remote part of eastern Orissa state after clashes over the Christmas holiday that reportedly left at least one and possibly three people dead.

Up to 12 churches and dozens of homes of Christians were ransacked or torched, state officials and Christian groups reported.


Dayal urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to intervene and said Christian leaders would try to see him on Thursday.

"The Hindu attackers are announcing openly, even on television, that every person who become a Christian becomes an enemy," he said.

Earlier this week, another Christian group, Gospel for Asia, reported that "anti-Christian extremists" in Orissa had badly beaten one of its missionaries, Matish Junni, shaved his head and paraded him around his local village.

It said Junni, who pastors 25 local believers, had just days earlier begun construction on a small church building.

"The extremists who attacked the pastor on Sunday demanded that the church members halt construction immediately," Gospel for Asia said.

Hindu hardliners accuse Christians of luring low-caste Hindus to covert to Christianity.

Hinduism's rigid social hierarchical system places at the very bottom of the ladder so-called "untouchables" or "dalits." Converting to Christianity, or Islam, allows dalits to escape from the caste system.

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