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2013-09-03

ASIA/INDIA - Three cases of persecution of Christians in the state of Karnataka

Bangalore ( Agenzia Fides) - Three episodes of violence and persecution of Christians occurred in the state of Karnataka, notorious for the presence of radical Hindu groups. As reported to Fides Agency by the ecumenical Indian forum "Global Council of Indian Christians", the first case concerns the Protestant Christian Pastor Paramajyothi, 28, who follows the Christian communities in 15 villages in the district of Chitradurga, Karnataka. In past days, while he was in his church celebrating a liturgy with about 60 faithful, some Hindu extremists stormed in the assembly, dragging him out of the church, stripping him naked and hitting him with violence, provoking wounds and fractures. The Pastor filed a complaint to the police, asking for protection, since Hindu radicals warned him to leave the country within a week.
Another incident of violence concerns Somashekar, 55, who lives in Bijapur district, a member of the ethnic group Lambani. Somashekar was a Hindu, now he is a Christian and has a wife and 7 children, he became an evangelizer in his village, where another 30 families of his own ethnicity live, they are non-Christians, and he invited them to participate in a Christian celebration. In past weeks, while he was visiting a neighbour, with his wife, suddenly 50 Hindu radicals attacked them, taking them out from the house by force, insulting and hitting them in order to force them to reconvert to Hinduism. They also told them that if they continued to be Christians, they had to leave the village. The extremists also filed a complaint to the police, accusing them of carrying out "forced conversions" to Christianity.
The third case involves a woman of Chikmagalur district, in Karnataka. We are talking about Doddamma, a 42-year old widow with a 22-year-old daughter, a humble woman who is a day laborer. She was also formerly a Hindu, converted to Christianity three years ago, and also her daughter. Today she participates in liturgies and prayer, gospel-sharing, helps people in distress. Ten days ago, a group of Hindu radicals stormed in her house, asking who had given her permission to preach the Christian faith. Mother and daughter were dragged to the nearby Hindu temple by the fanatics, who ordered them to reconvert to Hinduism. When they refused, they were savagely beaten and their house was looted and destroyed. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 03/09/2013)

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