India’s Karnataka province is the site of renewed radical-Hindu led pogroms against local Christians with worries that worse is to come. A recent string of attacks against Christian pastors, church services, homes and three orphanages resembles the violence that racked the province of Orissa three years ago.Asia News reports on the latest incident of persecution:
“When extremists attacked the small Christian community, they desecrated the bread and wine used during the celebration and badly beat up Rev Shadrak… After the initial attack, he was taken to another village, Latte, where he was tied to a tree. His attackers then left him and called police in Lokapura.
Accompanied by a few agents, Inspector Choudhary freed the clergyman and took him, and some of his parishioners, to a police station. Rev Shadrak was eventually sent to Jamkotai prison for detention on unspecified charges.”
The Parshanti Human Rights Centre is anxious that the authorities won’t properly protect local Christians, and recent events suggest it has a point. The center also worries that with the three-year anniversary of the Orissa pogrom approaching, extremists will try to emulate the scale of the Orissa violence. Persecution in Orissa during September of 2008 by Hindu extremists claimed the lives of a hundred plus Christians, destroyed hundreds of churches and thousands more lost their homes.
Violence against India’s fast growing Christian minority is a long-standing issue. As far back as 1998 the U.N. reported that “The Indian government has failed to prevent increasing violence against Christians…include(ing) the killings of priests, the raping of nuns, and the physical destruction of Christian institutions, schools, churches, colleges, and cemeteries. Thousands of Christians have also been forced to convert to Hinduism.”