Anti-Christian Violence Erupts Again in India

Local Authorities Fail to Punish Perpetrators

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BHUBANESHWAR, India, MARCH 9, 2011 ( Christians in the Orissa state of India have been undergoing repeated violence since December, with a particular increase over the last month.

Fides reported more than ten episodes in which Christians, including pregnant women and children, were injured by attackers.

Evangelical Pastor Vijay Purusu reported that the Christians are being attacked and beaten in night raids.

Local sources told Fides that the perpetrators belong to the same militant fundamentalist Hindu movement, «Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh,» that was responsible for a wave of attacks in 2007-2008, which resulted in the destruction of 6,600 Christian homes.

The sources reported that the perpetrators of those attacks have not yet been punished, and thus there is fear that this newest wave of violence will escalate again.

One Christian, who spoke anonymously to Fides, stated, «The attacks are motivated by the fact that the Hindus continue to despise and envy the good work done by Christians in the social, health and welfare sectors.»

Fides also reported another incident where a Christian pastor in northwest India was captured by a group of Hindu extremists who stripped and beat him, and forced him to walk naked for several miles on a main city road. More than a month after the Feb. 1 was reported to the police, none of the perpetrators have been arrested.

The All India Christian Council (AICC) is calling for the foundation of a «National Investigation Agency» to hold the Hindu extremist group «Sangh Parivar» responsible for the 2008 anti-Christian violence.

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