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2013-05-14

ASIA/INDIA - Allegations of "forced conversions": Hindu extremists against Christians in Kerala

Kochi (Agenzia Fides) - The Hindu radicals also commit violence against Christians in the state of Kerala, in South India. In Kerala Christians make up 20% of the population and are a part of society very much appreciated for the great effort in the field of education. The raids of Hindu extremist groups are rare, but some episodes begin to arouse bewilderment. As reported to Fides Agency by local sources, about a month ago a large gathering of Christian communities at the "New Hope Bible College" in Palunda, in Kerala, was abruptly interrupted by the irruption of over 150 Hindu beloging to the group "Aikyavedi" an organization of fundamentalist trait. The militants began to beat the believers and organizers, accusing them of "converting with force poor and marginalized people to Christianity ", who were present at the meeting. Christians immediately called the police who reached the spot, had talks with the inbà militants and Christian leaders. To calm things down, the organizers decided to dismiss all non-Christians who had been invited to the meeting and were participating as observers. The Hindu radicals decided to vent their anger on a photographer of the local newspaper "Swantham", who is hospitalized. At the end of the Convention, while the faithful were leaving the college, their cars and coaches were hit by stones. Fides sources recall that Kerala has always given to the whole country "an example of harmony among faiths", reiterating the commitment of Christians to build a peaceful coexistence, in the respect for freedom of religion, guaranteed by the Constitution of India. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 14/05/2013)

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