Persecution In India



July 06, 2010:

Christian Priest Shot in Bihar:  Latest Update


Bihar police arrested three persons for attempting to kill a Catholic priest on July 2 in Mokama, Bihar.

On June 28, Catholic priest Father Michael Ignatius was shot by two masked men in the parochial house of the Catholic Church of Mokama. Speaking to EFI, Father Ignatius said, ‘Three masked men suddenly appeared and two entered into the church while one waited outside. The two started firing towards me. Two bullets hit me on my left hand and one at the other hand.”

Police arrested three persons under Sections 307/ 34 and 120 B of the Indian Penal Code and 27 Arms Act. “We registered a case against three persons, Akhilesh Kumar, the main accused who is absconding, his brother Satish Kumar and one against an unknown person” Sub Divisional Police Officer of Mokama, Ramadan Kumar Kaushal told EFI. “We are tracing the whereabouts of Akhilesh Kumar and we are positive that we will find him soon.” he added.

Satish Kumar was sent to Barg Jail on 2 July.

“It will take sometime to fully recover from my injury. Unfortunately, we learned later on that the main accused was one of the Parishners in my Church. I cannot see any reason why such an attempt was made on me,” Father Ignatius told EFI.

Christian professor’s hand chopped off


Allegedly eight Islamic extremists cut off a Christian professor’s hand for preparing a question with an objectionable reference to Prophet Mohammed on 4 June in Muvatupuzha, Kerala.

The incident took place when Professor T J Joseph, his mother and sister were returning back home from church. Armed extremists stopped the car and forcefully pulled out Joseph and his family members. They verbally abused the two women, manhandled them and then turned to Joseph and brutally cut off one hand.

It was reported that Newman College professor, T J Joseph was suspended after preparing a question paper with an objectionable reference to the Prophet for the internal examination of second year B.Com held last year in March. A case has also been registered against him.

A police officer investigating the attack allegedly received death threats over phone on Monday, according to reports.

The attack against Joseph has been condemned by several Muslim organizations, including the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) and the Jama’at-e-Islami, which calls for a significant response against the culprits. Panakad Hyderali Shiyab Thangal, supreme leader of IUML, has asked that the perpetrators be prosecuted harshly and referring to the questionnaire compiled by Joseph, said: “An error can not be corrected by another mistake.”

EFI is sad to learn about this barbaric act and expresses anguish that some group of people took law into their hands. The case is under judicial process.

An appeal to write to authorities


As concerned people, kindly write to the Chief Minister of Kerela and Bihar appealing to them to safe guard the rights of the minority communities and to give protection to churches against attacks and to take immediate action against the perpetrators of violence.



Shri V S Achutanandan
Chief Minister of Kerela

(O) Tel: +91 471 2333812 ; 2332184
(O) Fax: +91 471 2333489
(R) Tel: +91 471 2314853 ; 2318406

Shri Nitish Kumar
Chief Minister of Bihar

(O) Tel: +91 612 2223886 ; 2224784

Rev. Dr. Richard Howell
General Secretary
Evangelical Fellowship of India
New Delhi, India




 July 02, 2010:

Christian’s Multipurpose Centre Sealed in Himachal Pradesh

Himachal Pradesh officials sealed the Mission India building claiming that it belongs to outsiders on June 5 in Bari, Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh.

Evangelical Fellowship of India (EFI) correspondent and EFI Advocacy Desk staff, Amitabha Sarkar reported that Government officials closed down the building which functioned as a Bible study centre and an orphanage claiming that no land in the area can be owned by people who are not natives.

Director of Compassion department, Mission India told EFI that the plot was purchased by the Mission India in 2005 and a building was constructed in 2007. The Mission started using the building for a Bible Study Centre and an Orphanage in 2008.

On July 2008, the Hindu extremists lodged a complaint against Mission India of forceful conversion, demanding the shutdown of the building. Since then, the extremists visited the site accusing the Christian workers of forceful conversion, verbally abusing them of their faith, and threatening to kill them if they did not vacate the site. The extremists continue to harass the Christians to date.

On June 5, Government officials sealed the building. Mission India claimed that the land legally belongs to them and that they are ready to submit all the necessary documents.

At press time, the Christians are looking for a place to rent which will at least accommodate the 10 orphans. The Advocacy Desk of the Evangelical Fellowship of India is taking steps to resolve the matter.

Christian vehicles torched in Tamil Nadu

After opposing a Christian convention on June 17-20, suspected Hindu extremists from the Bajrang Dal on June 22 burned at least seven vehicles belonging to Jesus with Us Pentecostal Church in Mathikere, Hosur, Tamil Nadu.

Our correspondent reported that about 12,000 Christians met for a three day convention in a private owned land. The extremists staged a protest against the convention by calling on the local authorities to revoke the organizer’s permit and convinced area local Hindu shop owners to close their stores on June 18.

Subsequently, under police protection, Christians moved their meeting to another area eight kilometres from the original site.

Police had earlier arrested five extremists for disturbing the convention. However, they were released on Tuesday morning and the cars were torched on the same night.

Christian priest shot in Bihar

Suspected Hindu extremists on June 28 with their face masked shot a catholic priest, seriously injured him in Mokama, about 100 km from Bihar’s capital Patna.

Our correspondent Amitabha Sarkar reported that three masked men barged into the parochial house at Catholic Church of Mokama and shot at Fr Michael Ignatius, the bullets pierced his arms.

The priest was bleeding profusely when he was rushed to the emergency department of the hospital. Thereafter he received an immediately operation. His condition at press time was reported to be stable.

Officer in charge of Mokama town police station informed EFI that three people were arrested and police investigation is underway.

In the same area five years ago, a catholic priest Father Matthew Ujaytal was killed in an attack by suspected Hindu extremist assailant.


 Manoj Pradhan: Bharatiya Janata Party legistator sent to jail

July 01, 2010:

In a major blow to the BJP, a party legislator was sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment by a fast track court on June 29 for murder during the anti-Christian riots in Kandhamal district of Orissa in 2008.

The first tract court I Judge S.K Das convicted G Udayagiri MLA Manoj Pradhan, along with his accomplice, Prafulla Mallick, of murdering Parikhit Digal, a Christian resident of Barepanga village on August 27, 2008. The convicts were taken to jail within hours after the announcement.

Ramesh Mohanty, Pradhan’s lawyer was reported as saying that the court found Pradhan guilty under Section 326, 147, 149 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for voluntarily causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapons or means, rioting and unlawful assembly respectively. Police had earlier registered a case against Pradhan under IPC section 302 (murder) as well.

Pradhan, a close disciple of Swami Laxmananda Saraswati, earlier acquitted in seven cases relating to the Kandhamal riots, is still being tried in seven other cases including three relating to murder. He contested from inside the jail, where he was lodged after being arrested from Berhampur in December 2008. He was granted bail in December 2009 and has since been attending assembly proceedings.

The BJP MLA was reported as saying he would appeal against the verdict before he was taken to Phulbani jail. “The people of my constituency know what I am. I have full faith in the judiciary.”

The murdered of Swami Laxmananda Saraswati on August 23, 2008 had sparked off large scale violence against the Christians in Kandhamal and other parts of Orissa. The Maoists claimed responsibility for the murder of the Hindu leader.

An appeal to write to authorities

As concerned people, kindly write to the Chief Minister of Orissa appealing him to safe guard the rights of the minority communities and to give protection to churches against attacks and to take immediate action against the perpetrators of violence.
Shri Navin Patnaik
Chief Minister of Orissa
Naveen Nivas, Aerodrome Road, P.O. Bhubaneswar
Distt. Khurda, Pin – 751 001 (Orissa)
(O) Fax: (0674) 2400100
(R) Tel: (0674) 2590299

Evangelical Fellowship of India (established 1951) is a charter member of World Evangelical Alliance, an accredited NGO with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations

Rev. Dr. Richard Howell
General Secretary
Evangelical Fellowship of India
New Delhi, India

India: Christians Attacked

On April 17, Hindu extremists attacked a group of Christians at a prayer meeting in Madhya Pradesh, India, causing the death of a 25-year-old man and severely injuring three other believers, according to The Voice of the Martyrs contacts.

Hindu radicals disrupted the meeting of more than 400 Christians and began destroying Bibles and other property. They attacked the Christians with sticks and iron rods, accusing them of forcible conversions. During the attack, Amit Gilbert, a master of divinity student, fell into an open well, hit his head on the well’s outer wall and drowned. One of the other injured Christians sustained a broken back and at last report remained in serious condition.

The Voice of the Martyrs encourages you to pray for those mourning the loss of Amit. Pray that the three injured Christians will fully recover. Pray that Christians in Madhya Pradesh will exemplify the love of Christ through love and prayer for those who persecute them.

Posted: April 30, 2010
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