May 03, 2011

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Steel On Steel Persecution Update: India Briefs Maharashtra, India, April 29 (Compass Direct News) – A group of Hindu extremists on April 24 disrupted the Easter celebrations of Christians at Dasturipada in Palgha, attacking them with clubs. One unidentified tribal Christian sustained a fractured bone in his hand, reported the Global Council of Indian Christians. The attack came three days after a mob disrupted a Maundy Thursday prayer service on April 21 at Devkuppada in Palghar. No arrests have been made in either incident. Following the April 21 attack, police were deployed in large numbers at Devkuppada, near Dasturipada. “Ever since a newspaper carried a report on mass conversions, tribals are being assaulted,” Abraham Mathai, vice-chairman of the Maharashtra state minorities commission, reportedly said. The All India Catholic Union reported one of the tribal Christians as saying, “I have not stepped out of my house since the attack on Maundy Thursday. We are living in fear.” – MS Karnataka, India, April 25 (Compass Direct News) – Police forced a pastor to stop leading worship services after Hindu extremists on April 22 disrupted his Good Friday service in Nandi Tavere village, Davengere district, and falsely accused him of forcible conversion. The Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC) reported that Pastor Umesh Nayak of Calvary Bethel Church was leading worship at about 11 a.m. when nearly 15 extremists stormed the church, snatched Bibles from the congregation and tore them up. A GCIC coordinator told Compass that the Hindu extremists chased away most of the congregation except for the pastor and six other church members, who remained locked inside the building. When informed of the attack, GCIC officials intervened at the Malai Bennur police station, which sent officers and released the Christians and then took them into custody for questioning. Police released Pastor Nayak at about 4:30 p.m. after he signed a statement to refrain from leading worship services in the village. – BW

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