Court orders extra payment to Christian widows of 14 who died in India riots

Christian women who have been rendered widows in recent anti-Christian violence in Orissa sing their traditional song at a Christmas celebration in Bangalore on December 8 in Bangalore.

The Global Council of Indian Christians based in Bangalore brought two dozen Orissa riot widows to Bangalore from the refugee camps in Kandhamal for conducting medical checks on them and to draw attention to their plight. Though Orissa government has declared compensation of 200 000 rupees ($4000) for those killed, only two of the two dozen widows have got the compensation as police insist on documentary proof for the murders and even recovery of the body some of which have been thrown in rivers and
dumped in jungles.

Photo by Anto Akkara
Following a long-fought campaign, the High Court of Odisha state in eastern India has ensured the disbursal of extra compensation awarded two years ago to dependants of 14 Christians killed in the widespread anti-Christian violence that engulfed Kandhamal district in 2008. In addition, the court has forced the Odisha government . . . Read More

Chief Minister of India’s most populous state bans ‘illegal’ abattoirs

Butchers in Uttar Pradesh face difficult times as state government bans 'illegal' slaughter houses.
India’s governing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) party on 19 March appointed a highly controversial Hindu cleric to lead the country’s most populous state, Uttar Pradesh. The choice for Yogi Adityanath – a controversial Hindu monk who has been repeatedly accused of stirring anti-Muslim sentiments – is a shocking rebuke to . . . Read More

‘Hindus never convert people’, says Indian MP

The Indian Minister of State for Home Affairs has claimed the Hindu population in India is decreasing because “Hindus never convert people”. Kiren Rijiju, tweeting on 13 February, also wrote that “minorities are flourishing”. Hindu population is reducing in India because Hindus never convert people. Minorities in India are flourishing . . . Read More

In India, one case of anti-Christian violence every day

Attacks on Christians in India were reported on an almost daily basis in 2015, according to a Christian advocacy group. “The country saw 355 incidents of violence, including 200 major incidents, during the last year,” Joseph Dias, convener of Mumbai-based Catholic Secular Forum, told World Watch Monitor. The forum’s report, . . . Read More

2014: A year of particular concern

2014: A year of particular concern
If ever there were a year that made plain the importance of religious freedom, 2014 was it, according to the just-released annual report by an American government advisory group. “By any measure, the horrors of the past year speak volumes about how and why religious freedom and the protection of the . . . Read More

Indian bureaucrat convert to challenge preaching ban

Indian bureaucrat convert to challenge preaching ban
Chellakani Umashankar, an elite Indian bureaucrat in southern Tamil Nadu state, has decided to challenge the order by the government of southern Tamil Nadu state that asked him to stop preaching and cancel his evangelical conventions. “This is nonsense. I am going to challenge it in the court” 51-year-old Umashankar, . . . Read More

India Hindu leaders turn up ‘reconversion’ rhetoric

India Hindu leaders turn up ‘reconversion’ rhetoric
Ignoring paralyzing opposition in Parliament and private expressions of exasperation from their own political leader, the top leaders of India’s fundamentalist Hindu movement have mounted a vigorous defense of a campaign to bring Christian converts back to Hinduism. “This is our own country, our Hindu rashtra,” or nation, said Mohan . . . Read More