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EFI NEWS Persecution Watch, Dec 22, 2011

December 23, 2011

Christians Assaulted and Arrested in Karnataka
Pastor Titus and believers arrested in Madhya Pradesh
Christmas strike called by Tribal Outfit
An Appeal to the Authorities

Dec 22, 2011

We request prayer that the church would continue to serve the nation inspite of innumerable suffering and pray also for those who are persecuting that they may experience the love of God.

Christians Assaulted and Arrested in Karnataka

Ten Christians, including six women arrested on Friday evening, 16 December, in Jalahalli, a village in Bhadravathi, Shimoga District of Karnataka after they were falsely accused of forcibly converting Hindus to Christianity.

The group of believers was repeatedly invited to have a prayer meeting in a new convert Venkateshs home, and while at the prayer meeting, they were attacked by a mob allegedly belonging to the Hindu fundamentalists groups, who threatened them and also injured some of the believers.

The Christian have been identified as Pastor Sagar Guntur, elders Prabhudas, Solomon Babu, Alwyn and Salomi, Deborah and Jaya. One Christian identified as George was declared as absconding by the police.

The lawyers for the Christians informed EFI that the Christians were taken into police custody and eight Christians were later released on bail.


Pastor Titus and believers arrested in Madhya Pradesh

A pastor of the Indian Pentecostal Church, identified as Titus and few other Christians were arrested after being charged under Section 3 and 4 of the Madhya Pradesh Freedom of Religion Act after a complaint was registered against them by local villagers in the Sendwa in Badhwani District of Madhya Pradesh on December 2, 2011. While they were in the Police Station about 20 men from radical Hindu organisation barged into the police station demanding arrest of the pastor.

Pastor Titus and the other Christians were released, after bail was posted by local Christians on their behalf. The police also seized the vehicle they were using along with some CDs and Bibles.


Christmas strike called by Tribal Outfit

The Kui Samaj Seva Samity (Kui social service society) have called for the shut down in Kandhamal district of Orissa during December 24-27 to protest what it said was government neglecting the district while allocating welfare funds.

According to media reports, quoted the strike call Bipra Charan Nayak, convener of the Survivors Associations of Communal Violence as saying, has caused panic among Christians who are planning to celebrate Christmas after four years.

The same tribal outfit had called for a similar strike in December 2007 that led to killing of five Christians in the Christmas week. Hundreds of houses were also torched. The district saw anti-Christian violence again in August 2008 that killed more than 90 people and rendered some 50,000 people homeless.

The EFI Legal Aid office too has shut down for the dates of the shutdown owing the possibility of violence targeting Christian workers in the region.

Christian groups including the EFI have written to the local administration seeking their urgent intervention to ensure that there is no violence in the district.


An Appeal to write to Authorities

As concerned people, kindly write to the Chief Ministers of Odisha, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka appealing to them to safe guard the rights of the minority communities and to give protection to churches against attacks and to take immediate action against the perpetrators of violence.


Shri D V Sadananda Gowda
Chief Minister of Karnataka

Email: cm@kar.nic.in
(O) Tel: (080) 22253414 ; 22253424
(O) Fax: (080) 22353115



Shri Shivraj Singh Chouhan
Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh

(O) Tel: (0755) 2441581 ; 2441033
(O) Fax: (0755) 2441781
(R) Tel: (0755) 2442231 ; 2442241
(R) Fax: (0755) 2540501

Email: cm@mp.nic.in


Shri Navin Patnaik
Chief Minister of Odisha
Naveen Nivas, Aerodrome Road, P.O. Bhubaneswar
Distt. Khurda, Pin - 751 001 (Orissa)
Email:
cmo@ori.nic.in

(O) Tel: (0674) 2531100 ; 2531500
(O) Fax: (0674) 2535100
(R) Tel: (0674) 2590299 ; 2591099



Issued By:
Rev. Dr. Richard Howell,
General Secretary
Evangelical Fellowship of India
New Delhi, India


Evangelical Fellowship of India (established 1951) is a charter member of World Evangelical Alliance, an accredited NGO with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations