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Violence is up, say Indian Churches

10 August 2012

THE National Council of Churches in India (NCCI) has said that attacks on Christians in India are "in­creasing".

A statement issued by the NCCI last month said: "Worship places are being vandalised, pastors and evangelists attacked, false allega­tions of forceful conversion are levelled against them, Christian believers are threatened, authorities of Christian service institutions are forced to follow dictates, burial right is denied."

It said that such incidents were particularly prevalent "in the
states of Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Orissa and Assam".

The General Secretary of the NCCI, the Revd Roger Gaikwad,
told Ecumenical News Inter­national (ENI): "The attacks are in­creasing, and it is becoming a major concern for us."

The Bishop in Karnataka South, in the Church of South India, the Rt Revd J. S. Sadananda, criticised the state government of Karnataka last week for awarding 170 million rupees ($3 million) to Hindu temples at which it had been agreed to pray for rain during the monsoon season, in which the rains have been weak.

Bishop Sadananda told ENI: "Lack of rain is a worry for everyone. . . Let everyone pray for rain. But we cannot approve of the Government spending money to conduct prayers in temples. . . The Government should have spent that money to help farmers."

Churches and Christian schools in the Indian state of Assam have given shelter to Muslims who have been involved in clashes with Bodo tribal people. Violence broke out after it was alleged that four Bodo youths were killed by Muslims last month. The Bodo Baptist Church Association has sent a goodwill mission to the area.

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