A reader in India has alerted us to contemporary conflict between Hinduism and Christianity in India. Here are several news stories about this:
7 prayer halls in DK, Udupi & Chikmagalur face wrath
Thousands of Christians staged road blockades in several parts of the city on Sunday, after suspected Bajrang Dal activists carried out a series of attacks on prayer halls in Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and Chikmagalur districts, alleging conversion…
Police resorted to caning to disperse the protesters, including nuns and women, in the evening near Milagres Hall complex, while a few people threw stones at the police. In the melee, some were hurt and a few vehicles damaged.
The district administration has clamped ban orders in these areas for three days, starting Sunday.
The places of worship which were attacked in Dakshina Kannada include Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration Monastery in Mangalore city, Christ Church at Kodikal near Mangalore, Believers Church of India at Puttur, Mahima Prathanalaya and Indian Pentecostal (both at Madanthyar in Belthangady taluk) and Bethesda Aradanalaya at Sullia.
The modus operandi of all the attacks was similar: a group of 20-25 persons barged into the prayer halls between 10 am and 10.30 am, damaged the furniture and desecrated the statues of Jesus Christ.
As news spread, Christians in Mangalore came onto the streets in large numbers and blocked roads till night. Union Minister Oscar Fernandes visited the protesters near Milagres in the evening.
Read more from the Deccan Herald – DH News Service Mangalore
Mangalore: Citizens’ Delegation Blames Home Ministry for Collapse of Law and Order
Mangalore, Sep 16: The state home minister is responsible for the total collapse of law and order in coastal Karnataka, and the failure of the state intelligence to warn of such a tragedy. Action must be taken against the district authorities while Christians, who are the victims of this tragedy, must not be targeted and the persons who were arrested on false charges should be released immediately, said Mahesh Bhat, head of the Citizens’ Delegation and noted bollywood director.
Read more and see pictures at Daijiworld
Orissa Govt Acquiesces Plot To Wipe Out Christianity In State
By John Dayal
NEW DELHI, SEPT. 18, 2008, 10.00 Hrs (SAR News):
Late Sunday night I had two very disturbing calls interrupting the unceasing messages and rings from Orissa on my two mobile phones. The first was of two separate gunbattles between police and armed mobs. One was a Sangh Parivar posse attacking a church in Tumuliband and apparently two of the attackers were killed by the police. The second was reportedly a Maoist attack on two villages in the Raikia region.
The second message confirmed something I had been told some days ago – that Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader and surgeon Dr. Praveen Togadia (he is still registered, apparently, with the Medical Council of India) had given a call, almost a contract, to his cadres in Orissa that three prominent Christian leaders, two of them living in Bhubaneswar, had to be “eliminated”.
Already, these three have been named in the Oriya language press, and pamphlets while their names have been distributed in villages in Kandhamal and neighbouring districts.
Read more at Catholic Bishops Conference of India (CBCI)
Mangalore, Sep 18: The leaders of Catholic Christian and Hindu community have decided to burry the hatchet and resolve differences, if any between two communities with amicable settlement in the future to maintain peaceful atmosphere in the district. They also assured not to hurt religious sentiments of each other. The leaders of both the communities agreed to resolve all differences at the peace meeting led by district in-charge-minister J Krishna Palemar held on Wednesday September 17 in the presence of district commissioner M Maheshwar Rao…
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Fr Francis Serrao said that Catholic Christian institutions never played any kind of discriminatory role among students. The New Life Society has no connection with Catholic Christian community. It is not under the jurisdiction of any Catholic Bishop.
“Baseless allegations against Catholic community and attack on churches either owing to mistaken identity or well-planned strategy have hurt our sentiments. We should respect and encourage the culture of every community. Such incidents should not occur again. Nobody is above the law. Hereafter nobody should take law and order into their hands,” he added.
When he was asked as why other sections of the Christian community had not been invited during the peace meeting, Fr Serrao replied that they also to be invited during next peace meetings.
Puranik clarified that attacks on churches in other parts of the state have no connection with Sangh Parivar. It is a well-planned political conspiracy, fishing in troubled waters. “Being a RSS member, I can say that Hindutva is a nationality. According to RSS, all religions of our country are Hindu only. Hindu community is a peaceful community. We never want to hurt anybody,” he opined.