The southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu continues to see outbreaks of religiously motivated violence, with one recent case involving a Christian labourer who says he was attacked by a neighbour who accused him of trying to convert Hindus.
In a report filed with the police, Thangaraj Ramasamy, who became a Christian 15 years ago, said his neighbour had harassed him and demanded that he paid Hindu temple taxes, reported Christian Solidarity Worldwide. When he refused, his neighbour, who has been arrested, allegedly threatened to kill him. Ramasamy sustained severe head and neck injuries in the attack last Thursday (19 April).
CSW’s Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas said: “We urge the Tamil Nadu government to take steps to stop the spread of values that go against the grain of the Indian Constitution, which assures the freedom of thought and conscience.”
Two days before the attack on Ramasamy, on 17 April, approximately 20,000 Protestant and Catholic Christians staged a state-wide protest in Tamil Nadu, calling for the government to take action and protect them from more violence.
“The peaceful protest was to get the attention of the state and federal government about the serious need for security and protection of the Christian minority,” K.B. Edison, general secretary of the Synod of Pentecostal Churches in Tamil Nadu, told Catholic news agency UCAN.