India carol singers arrested for ‘trying to convert people to Christianity’

India carol singers arrested for ‘trying to convert people to Christianity’
Six carol singers have been arrested in India after they were accused of trying to convert people to Christianity. The carol singers, one of whom is a professor at a Catholic theological college, insisted they were only singing songs, but a Hindu man alleged he had been told to “worship . . . Read More

Nepal PM ‘commits to address’ Christian concerns ahead of elections

Nepal PM ‘commits to address’ Christian concerns ahead of elections
Nepal’s Prime Minister has committed to addressing the Christian community’s concerns over religious freedoms, reports Asia News. Christians are thought to account for around 4 per cent of the population. Dinesh Bhattarai, advisor to Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, said the commitment “will be immediately put into practice and everything . . . Read More

Religious freedom in Nepal ‘teetering on the edge’

Within less then 24 hours after the provisions on religion were approved by the Constituent Assembly in September 2015, 3 churches in the eastern Jhapa district were bombed. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Nepali president Bidhya Devi Bhandari last week signed into law a bill criminalising religious conversion and the “hurting of religious sentiment”, as two parliamentarians warn religious freedom in the country is “teetering on the edge”. Nepali MP Lokmani Dhakal and Canadian MP David Anderson expressed their concerns after an international . . . Read More

Indian Christians beaten ‘with rods and sticks’

Indian Christians beaten ‘with rods and sticks’
A Christian man involved in church work across ten villages in the southern Indian state of Telangana was severely beaten earlier this month, a source told World Watch Monitor. The victim, known as Pastor Seviya, “was attacked by five Hindu extremists with rods and thick sticks … until he became unconscious”, . . . Read More

India: ‘pressure from right-wing Hindus’ forced closure of Catholic children’s hostel

India: ‘pressure from right-wing Hindus’ forced closure of Catholic children’s hostel
A children’s hostel owned by the Catholic Church has been closed down by the government in the central  Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. A priest told Matters India that it was because the authorities are “under mounting pressure from right-wing Hindu groups”. The hostel, in the western district of Guna, allowed . . . Read More

India: senior Church leaders call on Modi to help ‘control ideological hatred’ in Jharkhand

Hindu radicals burn a dummy replica of local Jharkhand Archbishop, Cardinal Telephore Toppo of Ranchi. (Photo: Catholic Bishops' Conference of India)
In a strongly worded open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) called on him to intervene and “curb the spread of hate created by the BJP chief minister” of Jharkhand state. The letter follows the burning of a dummy replica of local Jharkhand . . . Read More

India: cautious response to appointment of first Christian to Modi’s cabinet

Alphons Kannanthanam was sworn in on 3 September at the Presidential Palace in New Del
Church officials in India’s Christian heartland of Kerala are cautiously optimistic following the appointment of a first Christian MP to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cabinet, amid heated political debate. Modi’s past three years at the head of a Hindu nationalist government (the BJP) have seen a rise in radical extremism . . . Read More