Hindutvas enter Duagarh church – forced conversions

June 30, 2013 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

church in Duagarh AttackedOdisha, June 28, 2013: The extremists entered the “independent Pentecostal Church” in the Canalpada village in the district on June 24. The seven Christian leaders present, in order to avoid conflicts, took a car to go back home.They were followed by the Hindu men on motorcycles and blocked their car, leading to an accident.The passengers, including, Pastor Sura Mahat Samal, suffered minor injuries and were taken to hospital.
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In Malkangiri district, Christian villagers are not allowed to draw water from a public well.Christian families have started to draw water from a nearby river, but due to heavy rains, the river has become muddy. In May, a Christian woman who went to fetch water from the public well was beaten up severely by three Hindu men.Due to the threats and discrimination suffered, Christians have been forced to move to another area. GCIC had expressed deep concern over the spate of anti- Christian attacks launched against the tribal Christians in Malkangiri, Orissa and held a Dharna to appeals to the government to take appropriate and urgent action.

The Koya tribal Christians living in different villages in Malkangiri district have borne the brunt of a series of anti- Christian’s violence since 8 December, 2010. Over 10 attacks were recorded by the Malkangiri District Christian Manch (MDCM) in a space of one month.

Christian women, some pregnant, as well as children were among those injured in the attacks on churches, reported Pastor Vijay Purusu of Bethel Church and president of the MDCM. The spate of attacks began on 8 December in Katanpali village, when about 35 Hindu extremists stormed the house of Pastor Mark Markani and beat him. It was alleged that the attack was instigated by the extremist group from the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.

Christians have suffered midnight raids on prayer meetings in which they have been beaten, reported Pastor Purusu, resulting in some Christians fleeing their homes and going into hiding. At least four families have left their village and not returned due to extremist warnings, reported the Malkangiri District Christian Manch (MDCM). The Manch has met with the District Collector and Superintendent of Police and a memorandum was also submitted to the state Chief Minister on 27 January. “Delayed action.

However, according to local Christians, the peace committees have failed to restore peace in the region. In the latest incident in Murliguda, about 80 kilometers (50 miles) from Malkangiri town, about 60 assailants from the Hindu extremist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh on 23 February damaged the eardrums of Bhadan Hontal and beat another Christian, Markari Soma, until he fell unconscious, according to a report by the MDCM.

According to the area church leaders, the growing attacks on Christians were a symptom of fear among the Hindu extremists that the Christians and Church are doing well in many fields. The Christians’ social and educational ministries have been misunderstood as an allurement to convert other faith to Christianity.

– gcic

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