Kerala: 3 chapels attacked and a Catholic procession objected by Hindu radicals

April 30, 2014 by  
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Kerala christiansThrisssur, April 28, 2014: A pro-Hindu outfit is observing a dawn-to-dusk shut down in Trissur district of Kerala Monday to protest police “attitude” in its tussle with Catholics over a parish feast.

Police said some rightwing Hindu activists objected to the passage of a Catholic procession through the premises of a Hindu temple on Saturday night. The procession was in connection with the feast of St Sebastian at Saint Antony’s Catholic Church at nearby Murkanad.

Church authorities said they had taken permission from the temple authorities to let the procession pass through the temple and that it was the practice for several years. The parish comes under Trichur Syro-Malabar archdiocese.

The Hindu outfit said the authorities of Murkand Aalumparambu had not given the permission this year.

When the Hindu activists blocked the procession at the temple premises, the police forcibly cleared the way for the procession. Four Hindu activists suffered minor injuries in the police action. The police also took into custody 22 others.

The outfit claimed they had the temple authorities’ order cancelling the earlier one and so had objected to the procession and alleged the police were not willing to accept this.

Police said they allowed the procession to pass through the temple premises on the strength of the order of the temple authorities.

Meanwhile, three chapels under Irinjalakuda diocese were damaged late last night allegedly by the activists reportedly as a fallout of the police action.

Police said a section of the activists had blocked the church’s ‘Way of Cross’ procession on April 11 and recited hymns without any provocation.

Irinjalakuda diocesan spokesman Fr Joju Kutikad said complaints had been lodged with the respective police stations.

Police said a peaceful atmosphere prevails over Moorkanad area and situation is under control, the Business Standard reported.

– matters india

EFI: Chhattisgarh Christian boy dies, MP persecution, Jesus film disrupted…

April 30, 2014 by  
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MP: Christians Detained, Developmental Project Stopped

Madhya Pradesh ChristiansThe state police detained five Christians in Bagli police station, Dewas after the local Hindu extremists filed a complaint against them of forceful conversion on 24 March. Pastor Murli and local believers from Shalom Church of God were constructing children learning centre and helping the local children with tuition classes when the Hindu extremists accused them of forceful conversion.

“Through this project, the children were given tuition classes in the partially finished construction.” reported a local church leader, Pastor P Joseph. The police summoned the local believers to the police station and detained them. However, after an inquiry, the Christians were released. The tuition classes were stopped after the incident.

MP: Jesus Film Show Disrupted

On 22 March, Hindu extremists from the Bajrang Dal stormed into a Christian film show and accused the Christians of forceful conversion in Depo, Bamor Town, Muraina. The Christians were having a prayer meeting in the house of a local believer and arranged to show Jesus film outside the house after the prayer meeting.

However, at about 7:30 p.m, when the Christians were just about to show the film, the extremists barged in and accused the Christians of forceful conversion. Police soon reached the spot and took Pastor Bhaiyalal Masih, Pastor Hariprasad Kuriya along with two believers, Sanjeev and Manoj from the Operational Mobilization Team for questioning to the Bamor police station. After the intervention of area Christian leaders, the believers were released.

Chhattisgarh: Christian Boy Died in Forceful Captivity

Chhattisgarh ChristiansA Christian boy, Govind Kuram Korram, (11) allegedly died of malnutrition in the house of his non-believer uncle, Rajuram Kurre, who forcefully kept him in his house for almost a year in Salebhat, Kanker. Rajuram Kurre opposed his brother Bijuram Korram for accepting Christ three years ago and seized the house, land, tree and son of his Christian brother.
Bijuram Korram requested his brother to return to him his son and his properties several times but his brother refused to give them back. Thereafter, in 2013 , Bijuram submitted a police complaint. Subsequently, Rajuram returned the house, land and tree but he refused to give the boy back to his father.

On 1 Dec, 2013, the boy died in the house of Rajuram allegedly of malnutrition. Bajuram filed a police complaint at Kanker police station. However, no action has been taken till now.

– efi

EC sends notice to Babulal Marandi for seeking church support

April 30, 2014 by  
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New Delhi, April 29, 2014: The Election Commission Monday issued a notice to former Jharkhand chief minister Babulal Marandi for seeking support from pastors and priests for the general election.

The Election CommissionThe Jharkhand Vikas Morcha-Prajatantrik chief was issued the notice based on a report by the chief electoral officer of the state.

“The commission has received a report dated April 20 of the chief electoral officer, Jharkhand, enclosing a complaint dated April 20, that you have made an written appeal dated April 13 to all churches in Dumka stating a quote from the Bible making a deemed appeal for support from all bishops, pastors, brothers and sisters in christ from Dumka Lok Sabha seat,” said the notice.

The notice said that the commission was prima facie of the opinion that by making these statements, Marandi violated the provisions of the model code of conduct, and asked him to explain his stand by 11 a.m. on April 30, “failing which the ECI shall take a decision without further reference to you”.

– ians

Father kills convert daughter in Uganda

April 30, 2014 by  
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Uganda, April 28, 2014: A young Ugandan woman has told how her Muslim father beat her 17-year-old sister to death after finding out that the pair had converted to Christianity.

Uganda ChurchNawudo Hasifa (19) and Nanvunani Shamimu became Christians after they had the same dream on the night of 4 April in which a man dressed in white appeared to them, telling them to go and be prayed for in a church.

On 6 April, they went to a church in Kawaga. Nawudo told Morning Star News:

[We] straight away went to see the pastor and explained to him about the dream and that we were ready to be Christians. The pastor prayed for us to accept Jesus as Lord and Saviour of our lives. After prayers we then went to church, where the pastor introduced us to the church and that we were new members of the church. The church faithful were cheerful to receive us.

Local Muslims who had seen them enter the building told Nawudo and Nanvunani’s father, and he rallied a mob of youths to attack the church. Some of them warned the congregation that the teenagers should not worship with them.

When the sisters returned home that evening, their father was furious and questioned them about why they had attended the church. Nawudo said:

We kept quiet. Our silence angered our father. He removed a blunt object and started beating us indiscriminately. My sister was hit somewhere near the neck. She fainted and became unconscious. My father got shocked and stopped beating me. He tried to wake up my sister, but there was no response. I knew she was gone.

Nawudo escaped to the home of a church elder, who took her to another town where she is now being cared for by local Christians out of harm’s way. She said:

I know I cannot go back to my father because I have become a Christian. I am grateful to the church for welcoming me and taking me as their child. I now have a new home.

The pastor of the church said that Nawudo was still traumatised by the death of her sister and needs prayers and counselling.

Nanvunani’s death follows the attempted murder of compatriot Wenene Nuru (23) by her Muslim father after she converted to Christianity.

The attacks highlight the grave danger for Muslims of leaving Islam to follow Christ, even in a Christian-majority context like Uganda.

– barnabas team

The forced conversion of Christians becoming disgracefully common in Pakistan

April 30, 2014 by  
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Washington, D.C. April 29, 2014: Forced conversion in Pakistan is becoming more of an issue of concern for the Christian community. In April, stories of Christians being affected by the issue of forced conversion reared its ugly head on multiple occasions and reminded us how it is an issue that is a concern for every member of Pakistan’s already extremely persecuted Christian community. Reports of hundreds of Christian women forcefully converted to Islam every year, a Christian man being murdered for refusing to convert to Islam, and a Christian family being forced to flee their home for their children’s safety shows how widespread and common forced conversion has become in Pakistan.

Wrong Religion, Wrong Gender

Pakistani ChristiansIn a report published in April, the Movement for Solidarity and Peace (MSP) revealed that as many as 700 Christian women between the ages of 12 and 25 are forcefully converted to Islam every year in Pakistan. Christian women are among Pakistan’s most vulnerable people because they are considered by many in Pakistan’s Muslim majority population to be both the wrong religion and the wrong gender.

The figures presented in the report published by the MSP were taken from major newspaper sources and NGOs working on the issue already. The actual number of Christian women being forcefully converted to Islam every year could, in reality, be much higher than the numbers reported by the MSP. Many cases go unreported because of threats against the victims and their families.

Forced conversion of Christian women is both well organized and well established. These women are often abducted from their families, converted to Islam, married to a Muslim man, and raped – all by force.

Pakistani ChristiansCulprits coerce their captives to sign documents stating that they have embraced Islam by their own free will and then force them into changing their names to a traditionally Muslim name. Often, the forced marriage and rape are used as a tool to trap these women. Pakistan is a very traditional society and good marriages are one of the few ways in which Christian women are able to provide for themselves. The shame associated with being a rape victim often destroys a Christian woman’s potential to find a good marriage.

Because of threats against their own safety or the safety of their families, women being abducted and forcefully converted to Islam often do not report these incidents of abuse. Even when these cases are reported to police, the victims find both the police and justice system stacked against them.

PakistanPolice often tell victims that they are better off being Muslims in Pakistan and refuse to register complaints. Even if the complaint is actually registered and the matter is brought to court, injustice is often the only result. Throughout court proceedings, the Christian women are forced to stay in the custody of their abductor instead of being returned to their families or an independent third party. This forces many women to give statements that they have converted by their own free will and that they are happily married to their abductors.

Killed for Refusing Islam

PakistanEven though Christian women make up the vast majority of forced conversion cases in Pakistan, they are by no means the only Christians being victimized. Christian men are often pressured by Muslim co-workers and neighbors into converting to Islam. In some cases, refusing to convert to Islam can lead to false blasphemy accusations and, in extreme cases, murder. When confronted with the choice to covert or die, many Christian men are not as brave as Sunny Masih, a Christian man willing to stand firm in his Christian faith.

On April 16, Sunny Masih, a Christian cleaner at a branch of Bank Islami in Lahore Pakistan was allegedly shot and killed by his Muslim co-worker after refusing to convert to Islam. According to official reports, the Muslim co-worker informed police that Masih had shot himself with the co-workers shotgun after the co-worker left it unattended while using the toilet.

Masih’s co-worker and security guard for the bank, Omar Farooq, told police that Masih had looked depressed when he had arrived at the bank and had shot himself when Farooq left his gun unattended. In an interview with Morning Star News, Masih’s father refutes these claims by Farooq and asserts the issue of forced conversion was at the heart of his son’s death.

Pakistani Christians“On April 15, my son told me that Farooq had mocked his Christian faith and has asked him to ’embrace’ Islam,” Masih’s father told Morning Star News. “He told my son, ‘You are a good-looking boy, and I don’t like to see you sweeping the floors and cleaning the washrooms. If you embrace Islam, I’ll connect you with people who will take good care of you, provide you with a decent job and even get you married into a wealthy Muslim family.”

Masih responded to this invitation by saying that he was happy with his Christian faith and asked Farooq to stop asking him to convert to Islam. “My son told me that when he snubbed Farooq, the guard had threatened him that he would have to face the consequences for refusing the Dawaat [an invitation to accept Islam],” Masih father told  Morning Star News. The next day, Masih was killed with Farooq’s gun.

Initially, local police maintained that evidence supported Masih’s death as a suicide and refused to register the case for investigation even after Masih’s father told them about the forced conversion issue. It wasn’t until the local Christian community staged a protest at the police station that the police registered the case and brought Farooq in for questioning.

Christian Children Faced with Forced Conversion

Pakistani ChristiansTo show how widespread the issue of forced conversion is in Pakistan, ICC talked to one Christian family that was forced into hiding to protect two of their children from being forcefully converted to Islam. Sarah, age 12, and her sister Nadia, age eight, were blessed with outstanding singing voices and would often lead worship at church. Eventually, these two Christian girls became famous in their community for their voices. At school, the two girls were selected to lead daily morning assemblies. The girls led other students, mostly Muslim, in singing Pakistan’s national anthem and reciting verses from the Quran. The girl’s parents told ICC that their daughters had been leading these morning assemblies for years and became well known to the other parents in the school.

“In October 2013, we sensed that our girls were being trapped and forced to convert to Islam by the school administration and other religious fundamentalists connected to the school,” the girls’ mother told ICC. “When some of the more fundamental Muslim families came to know about the religious background of Sarah and Nadia, they rushed to the school administration claiming the girls were no longer Christians. Their reasoning was that because the girls had been reciting verses of the Quran, they had become Muslims and had to be taken to live in the custody of a Muslim family.”

Pakistani Christians“For about two months, our entire family was under pressure,” the girls’ father told ICC. “We received threats of being killed or Muslims kidnapping our lovely daughters. We were under constant pressure from clerics to convert our girls to Islam.”

Things got so bad that the family decided to take drastic action. Recently, in the middle of the night, the Christian family packed up as many of their possessions as they could carry and fled to a larger city in Pakistan where they believe they can stay hidden.

Forced conversion is second only to the abuse of Pakistan’s controversial blasphemy laws in issues negatively affecting the dwindling Christian community of Pakistan. Touching Christians from all walks of life, forced conversion and the impunity the perpetrators of this abuse enjoy in Pakistan has become disgracefully common. Without significant change, Pakistan’s Christian community will continue to live in a state of constant fear and look for any and all opportunities to escape one of the most religiously intolerant countries on earth.

– icc

Something to think about

April 30, 2014 by  
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Think about it..

1. Stay away from anger, It hurts only You!

anger

2. If you are right then there is no need to get angry, and if you are wrong then you don’t have any right to get angry.

no need

3. Patience with family is love, Patience with others is respect.
Patience with self is confidence and Patience with GOD is faith.

patience

4. Never think hard about the PAST, It brings tears. Don’t think more about the FUTURE, It brings fears. Live this moment with a smile, It brings cheers.

present

5. Every test in our life makes us bitter or better, Every problem comes to make us or break us, The choice is ours whether we become victims or victorious.

victim or victor

6. Beautiful things are not always good but good things are always beautiful.

good things

7. Do you know why God created gaps between fingers? So that someone who is special to you comes and fills those gaps by holding your hand forever.

holding hands

8. Happiness keeps you sweet so try and be as happy from within as possible.

within

9. God has send us all in pairs… someone, somewhere is made for you…
so wait for the right time n right moment.

marriage

– fwd: evarist ferreira

China involved in anti-Christian campaign as church demolition begins

April 30, 2014 by  
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church demolitionChina, April 28, 2014: Activists accuse Communist Party of ‘barbaric’ campaign against Christianity after demolition teams and police descend on a church that became a symbol of resistance

Demolition teams began destroying parts of a Chinese church that has become a symbol of resistance to the Communist Party’s draconian clutch on religion, activists and witnesses said on Monday.

Sanjiang church in Wenzhou, a wealthy coastal city known as the “Jerusalem of the East”, made headlines earlier this month when thousands of Christians formed a human shield around its entrance after plans for its demolition were announced.

Church members accused Communist leaders in Zhejiang province of ordering an anti-church crackdown and claimed there were plans to completely or partially demolish at least 10 places of worship.Officials rejected those accusations, alleging the church had violated building codes.

After mounting their high-profile occupation in early April, many protesters withdrew from Sanjiang church after its leaders appeared to have negotiated a compromise with the government.

However, that deal appears to have broken down in recent days with reports that some church leaders and worshippers had been harassed and detained by security agents and officials.

On Monday morning demolition teams began tearing down parts of the church in Wenzhou, a city around 230 miles south of Shanghai that has one of the country’s largest congregations.

“I saw three or four excavators out front, demolishing the church, and three or four out back, demolishing the annex building. I also saw a small excavator going inside the church doing demolition work inside,” said one witness who claimed there were around 100 police around the church, including armed officers.Church members informed that the authorities had attempted to silence the congregation

“All the roads are blocked, you can’t get close to the church,” said a local Protestant leader, who asked not to be named for fear of reprisals from the government. “The two sides of the main hall are being demolished.”
Other images showed black police vans, military trucks and security agents standing on the main road outside.

It was not immediately possible to verify those pictures. Nor was it clear whether authorities planned to destroy the entire church, which has a large red cross on its spire, or just part of the structure.

Bob Fu, a US-based Christian activist, said: “This government-orchestrated barbaric forced demolition represents a serious escalation against religious freedom in Zhejiang. The Chinese regime chooses to disregard its own laws and the will of its best citizens.”Church members accused Communist leaders in Zhejiang province of ordering an anti-church crackdown

The demolition of Sanjiang church would “definitely further erode the little remaining trust between millions of Chinese Christians and the Chinese government,” added Mr Fu, president of the Texas-based group China Aid.
“History has proved and will prove again with this case that another church revival will happen after this new wave of persecution.”

In an unusual step, Chen Yilu, the head of the Nanjing Union Theological Seminary, spoke out against the provincial government’s “crude and hard-line” handling of the Sanjiang church crisis.

In a strongly-worded commentary that has been circulating online, Mr Chen said the incident would damage the Communist Party’s image as well as harming “social stability”. He called on Beijing to “intervene as soon as possible to avoid further deterioration”. Provincial authorities deny they are waging an orchestrated campaign against Christian places of worship. However, Feng Zhili, the head of Zhejiang’s ethnic and religious affairs committee, complained earlier this year that Christianity’s spread had been “too excessive and too haphazard”.

In a recent interview Fenggang Yang, a leading expert on religion in China, said he believed the Asian country could overtake Brazil, Mexico and the United States to become the world’s most numerous Christian congregation by 2030.
However, Prof. Yang warned that Chinese Christians should brace themselves for growing interference as the Communist Party fought to stunt the Church’s growth.

One of the Party’s most senior officials hit out at those predictions last week, in an indication of Beijing’s discomfort at the rapid growth of Christianity.

Ye Xiaowen, a member of the elite 205-member Central Committee, dismissed Prof. Yang’s projections as “unscientific” and “obviously inflated”.

“It is completely meaningless to predict how many people might believe in Christianity in China in the future,” said Mr Ye, who was the country’s top official in charge of religious affairs until 2009.

Asked to comment on Monday’s demolition, a propaganda official from Zhejiang’s Communist Party Committee said, “I don’t know” before the line went dead.

– the telegraph

Anti-nuclear priest – conspiracy in Church suspension

April 29, 2014 by  
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Thiruvananthapuram, April 25, 2014: Church authorities took exception to his running for a lower house seat in parliament.

Anti-nuclear priest A Catholic priest who defied his superiors by running for political office in southern India has alleged a “high-level” conspiracy after being suspended by his bishop.

Father M P Jesuraj, a well-known anti-nuclear activist, is seeking a lower house seat in the Tirunelveli constituency in Tamil Nadu, representing the Common Man’s Party

Bishop Gerald Paulraj of Palayamkottai announced the suspension on April 23, a day before polling took place. A statement released by the bishop said the suspension is retroactive to March 30.

It was widely expected that the priest would win the election.

Fr Jesuraj called the timing of the suspension “suspicious”.

“I see a conspiracy in it” to help the rival Congress party candidate, he said.

Fr. Jesuraj, 40, said that his supporters had asked him to participate in elections to help close the Kudankulam nuclear power plant, which local residents fear will contaminate the area and destroy the waterways used by fishermen.

The priest was one of the leaders of the movement against the nuclear power plant in Idinthakarai village.

The announcement of the suspension is aimed at taking away Catholics’ vote from the priest, his supporters said.

“It was a surprise for me as I was under the impression that my case will be treated as a special one because I am contesting the election for a cause” that was supported by the church, Fr. Jesuraj told ucanews.com.

The priest said he met the bishop in March seeking permission to participate in the election following a popular demand for his candidacy. While Bishop Paulraj denied permission to run, he agreed it was an extraordinary situation that left the priest with an impression that his case will be considered sympathetically, Fr. Jesuraj said.

“Our campaign had gone well attracting wide support from coastal areas. It might have irked other political parties and they wanted the Church to suspend me,” Jesuraj said.

He said that the delayed suspension will not impact election results and will only be a “consolation for my opponents.”

Of the 6,800 votes polled in Koodankulam, where the nuclear plant is located, he is expecting 80 percent of the votes.

“When church leaders act without conscience, they would be ignored. When they act with conscience, they will be honored,” he said.

However, the church move has evoked resentment among the anti-nuclear activists in Idinthakarai.

“It’s like suspending all of us from the Church,” Melvin Raj told ucanews.com.

Echoing the same sentiments, Victoria Pushparayan said the suspension is only going to harm the Church’s credibility.

“We were able to keep struggle going only because we have people’s support and not because the Church leaders funded our struggle,” she said.

– ucanews

Kandhamal: Home torched. Police release 3 arrested

April 29, 2014 by  
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Bhubaneswar, April 26, 2014: Odisha Police yesterday released three people they had arrested for destroying the house of a survivor of the 2008 Kandhamal violence. Praful Digal, a Catholic of Budruka village of Kandhamal district, had built the house with the government funds recently. However, suspected Hindu radicals attacked it a week before Easter, said Fr. Pradosh Kumar Nayak, rector of St. Paul’s Minor Seminary, Balliguda, and the Dean of Balliguda Deanery that covers Budruka village. Budrukia is around 10 km from Balliguda town, a sub divisional headquarters.

Kandhamal RiotsThe police arrested Sudershan Mallick, Pabitra Mallick, Nageswar Mallick on a complaint filed by Shiva, Praful’s 70-year-old father. However, the three were released Thursday night without giving any reasons. Fr Nayak said it was the third house the Digal family had built in the village in the past six years. Hindu radicals destroyed them all. The destruction of the third house built with the government aid indicates that some forces were determined to keep Christians out of the village, Fr Nayak said. It also showed that Christians continue to lead a fearful existence in Kandhamal, he added. Kandhamal district witnessed months-long unprecedented attacks against Christians following the assassination of Hindu religious leader on August 23, 2008.

Digal’s was among 834 houses Hindu radicals destroyed in the first anti-Christian violence in Kandhamal in December 2007. A few Christians were killed, a few young nuns were molested and some 50 churches and Christian institutions were also destroyed then. The Digal family mustered courage, returned to the village two months later and rebuilt the house. However, it was destroyed in the 2008 anti-Christian violence. After this attack, the family left the village and was sheltered by their relatives of another village where they still remain. They had planned to return to the village after the completion of their house, which they constructed with the support of government supported housing scheme for the poorest people. Praful is the eldest of the two sons in the Digal joint family. The sons have their own families and eke out a living on farming.

Fr Nayak said the Digals were in tears as their third house was destroyed, dashing their hope to return to their land to cultivate. The house was destroyed as the district prepared for to vote in the general elections on April 24.

– ajay kumar singh

US court – Sikh group may summon Manmohan Singh

April 29, 2014 by  
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washington dcWashington,  April 25, 2014: A US court has asked a Sikh group to serve summons on Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh by June 18 or face dismissal of a case of alleged violation of human rights during his tenure.

“Plaintiffs shall file proof of service on or before June 18, 2014,” US District Judge James E. Boasberg said in its April 18 order.

The Washington federal court had issued summons against Manmohan Singh during his September 2013 visit to Washington on a plea by Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) accusing him of “funding crimes against humanity perpetrated upon the Sikh community in India”.

The SFJ has also accused the Indian Prime Minister of “funding several counter insurgency operations in the state of Punjab during the 1990s resulting in more than hundred thousand Sikhs being tortured and extra judicially killed by the security forces”.

To comply with the US Court orders, the rights group will now employ “alternate means” to accomplish the service of outstanding US Court summons on Manmohan Singh, SFJ said.

These include but not limited to “service by publication”, “email” or “social media” as provided under Washington DC Rules of Service”, legal advisor to SFJ Gurpatwant Singh Pannun stated.

The rules provide that service of summons may be accomplished “by other means not prohibited by international agreement as may be directed by the Court,” he said.

The case against Manmohan Singh was filed by SFJ under the Alien Tort Claims Act (ATCA) and Torture Victim Protection Act (TVPA).

– ians

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